“The UAV array in the Israeli Air Force is growing steadily. Today, two-thirds of all operational flights in the force are carried out by unmanned vehicles for intelligence gathering, threat detection, and a variety of other missions.” These remarks were made by Brig. Gen. Nimrod Shifroni of the IAF at the 7th International UVID Conference on Unmanned Vehicles, organized by IsraelDefense.
“The IAF employs UAVs on a daily basis and in multiple theaters. Each UAV in the force flies about 1000 hours a week,” says Shifroni. “We have learned to connect an aerial force to every ground force operating in the field. Near or far, no IDF ground unit operates without an aerial escort.”
Brig. Gen. Shifroni also addressed the UAV force build-up in the IAF, saying there are more bases and more squadrons operating a growing number of vehicles. Consequently, there are also larger investments in infrastructure and human capital, including operators and technicians. There are significant developments in the lower-level airspace, namely drones and loitering munitions, he said.
“Sensors are growing more sophisticated, capable of detecting even the disappearing enemy. An IT array facilitates the connectivity in the force, whereby fighter jets, helicopters, and UAVs all working coordinately.”
Shifroni also mentioned the growing use of simulators across the air force, as well as the expansion of the UAV training campus.