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IDF to buy scores of tactical UAVs for infantry

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midastouch017   Wednesday, 05/02/07 07:15:17 AM
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IDF to buy scores of tactical UAVs for infantry
IAI, Elbit Systems, Rafael and Aeronautics Defense Systems will participate in the tender, worth tens of millions of shekels.
Amnon Barzilai 1 May 07 16:42
The IDF will publish a tender next week for the procurement of scores of tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for infantry battalions. The tender will also include command and control stations and advanced imaging systems. The tender will be worth tens of millions of shekels.
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT), Rafael Armament Development Authority Ltd., Aeronautics Defense Systems Ltd. and other companies will participate in the tender.

A senior IDF source told “Globes” that this was the first procurement of its kind. The UAVs are intended to improve the operational effectiveness of the infantry and defense of the country’s borders. Sources inform ''Globes'' that the IDF is formulating a follow-on plan for the procurement of larger UAVs for infantry brigades. The IDF will also procure miniature unmanned flyers that can transmit images to ground units.

The IDF began examining tactical UAVs for intelligence and operational missions four years ago. The IDF has bought several Skylark UAVs, made by Elbit Systems, which were used in the Second Lebanon War, and are used by units operating in the Gaza Strip. One Skylark was captured by Hamas.

The source said, “We flown thousands of hours on hundreds of operational sorties, and learned our operational needs. We’ve learned what this technology makes possible. The goal is ensure complete independence by unit commanders at fairly low cost.”

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on May 1, 2007



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