The Israeli military is purchasing an unspecified number of small, multi-rotor drones that can be armed and have sufficient mobility to perform well in urban combat situations, Defense One reported Thursday.
The TIKAD drone is made by Duke Robotics, a Florida-based company that was co-founded by Lt. Col. Raziel “Razi” Atuar, a 20-year IDF veteran. Having fought in urban settings, Atuar saw friends get killed and believes that the drones could save lives.
“You have small groups [of adversaries] working within crowded civilian areas using civilians as shields. But you have to go in. Even to just get a couple of guys with a mortar, you have to send in a battalion and you lose guys. People get hurt,” said Atuar, a former battalion commander who fought in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge three years ago. “The operational challenge, it bothered us.”
The TIKAD can be mounted with a machine gun or grenade launcher and is controlled remotely, ensuring its operator is under less pressure to defend themselves than a soldier on the scene.
The TIKAD can carry weapons up to 22 pounds and was built with multiple plates that evenly distribute the force of the recoil, allowing it to remain stationary even after firing a shot.
The drone can do more than aim and fire. “You want to be able to reach the target and investigate it. I have to have time to gather information to be sure,” Atuar said. “That’s what the Israeli military has ordered from us.”
The United States military is also reportedly interested in the drone.
[Photo: Twitter ]