Israel Develops ‘Drone Dome’ to Protect Skies

YERUSHALAYIM -
A flying drone camera was used by the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas in Gaza City during a rally of tens of thousands of Hamas supporters to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the assassination of the group's spiritual leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin in an Israeli airstrike a decade ago, in Gaza City on March 23, 2014. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90 *** Local Caption *** . îöìîä ãâì ôìñèéðé ãâì ôìùúéðé
A flying drone camera used by the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas in Gaza City during a Hamas rally in 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Arms manufacturer Rafael has developed a system to identify and eliminate drones – a “Drone Iron Dome,” similar to the Rafael system that targets incoming rockets and missiles and shoots them down in the air, Israel Radio reported Monday. The Drone Dome was on display at a recent arms show in Brazil, and is meant to be used to eliminate threats in no-fly zones, among other things. According to the report, there was a great deal of interest in the system.

The Iron Dome system uses telemetry and location technology to zero in on the path of a missile, and is able to compensate for direction changes, tracking a targeted missile with a rocket that pursues it and eventually hits it, causing it to explode. The Drone Dome works in a similar manner, tracking drones as they move around in the skies and blowing them up or otherwise disabling them, depending on the size of the targeted drone and whether or not it is flying over populated or sensitive areas.

The report also said that the IDF is interested in purchasing mini-“suicide drones,” small aerial vehicles that can be equipped with explosives or other materials and self-destruct after they deliver their payload. The drones are manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries and have been sold to foreign governments, sources in the company told Israel Radio.

One reason for the interest in the drones, the sources said, was that Hamas and other terror groups were upgrading their ability to shoot down Israeli drones over the skies of Gaza. The IDF would prefer that the terror group not get its hands on Israeli drones – hence the self-destructing drones.