More than 2,000 people attended the sixth international UVID conference held at the Avenue Convention & Events Center at the initiative of Israel Defense. Dozens of companies from Israel and overseas participated in a massive exhibition, held in conjunction with the conference, and showcased an extensive range of unmanned systems. The UVID 2017 conference has been Israel's largest unmanned systems conference.
"The enemy knows how to focus their efforts on us," said Brig. Gen. Tomer Bar Head of the IAF Staff Division. "The enemy is interested in each and every one of our activities. That is a challenge during peacetime as well as in emergencies. The real challenge is in the build-up of the force. We need 24/7 persistent area surveillance. Generating a battle picture is a complex activity and the UAS force plays a major role in the context of this effort. We are looking for force multipliers, not for 'Me-Too' elements. Fewer operators, taking the enemy by surprise. We are looking for solutions that would provide us with advantages. In the future, there will be fewer people in service and the service term will be shorter. We are preparing for that. Technology will bridge the gaps. We may not require external operators. The interpretation centers will be improved," he added.
Col. (res.) Ofer Haruvi from IAI’s Military Aircrafts Group said that "The trends in the UAS world include faster UAVs, vertical takeoff, persistent area surveillance, logistic missions. MALE UAVs are not the solution for persistent area surveillance as they are costly and likely to be shot down. Consequently, the market will switch to high-level, strategic UAVs and low-cost low-level platforms. The tactical (MALE) UAV category is expected to decline."
"We have no intention of establishing an additional air force as part of the ground forces. Additionally, we are aiming at the development of a systemic solution according to the concept of Maj. Gen. Kobi Barak," says Brig. Gen. Alon Klos, Chief IDF Artillery Officer. "What do we want? To be able to spot, detect and identify active enemy elements. We want operational continuity so as to provide a solution within short time intervals. Artificial intelligence that would help the intelligence officer understand the logic behind the enemy's activities. Identification and interception of enemy targets within the combat zone where the ground force operates."
Elad Aharonson, Elbit Systems' EVP & GM ISTAR Division, said at the conference that "There is a dimension of addiction to UAS in ground operations. The function of the UAS is to provide intelligence and spot the enemy. Dealing with the platforms is important, but eventually, the question is whether we have a battle picture and know where the enemy is. Automatic interpretation is not enough. We need automatic processing and utilization of the information. Eventually, what we want is to be able to identify the irregularity. To identify the irregularity within the information provided by the various sensors. It is a collection of various technologies, including machine learning and deep learning. But that will not be enough either. Even when we have realized where the Bad Guys are, we would still want to know what is going to happen."
Dr. Ran Gozali, Executive Vice President & General Manager of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems' RD&E Division, also addressed the challenges in the field.
CTI's CEO Ehud Kauf also took part in the event.
Shai Palti, CEO of Commtact, addressed the threats and solutions in cyber and communications for unmanned systems.
Uzi Landau, Chairman of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, visited the conference and toured the exhibition.
Conference Chairman Alon Unger welcomed the 2000 attendees of the event in his opening remarks.
Brig. Gen. (ret.) Abraham Assael, CEO of the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies, co-moderated the opening strategic session: "Unmanned Systems in the Modern Era."
UVID 2017 was the biggest conference in the field of unmanned vehicles in Israel.
Photography: Gilad Kavalerchik