The Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) in Israel's Ministry of Defense, together with Israel's Xtend company and the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) of the U.S. Department of Defense, have launched an operational pilot program that will test the Skylord drone system for defense of U.S. military forces. The program that got underway after joint research and development is one of the most ultramodern cooperation projects between the DDR&D and the American counterparts.
As a result of the close cooperation between the R&D unit and the CTTSO, the system was developed in accordance with the concrete operational requirements of U.S. military units. Its capabilities include operation by the troops with ease and intuition, without complex training. After testing the system for about a year, the CTTSO decided to launch an operational pilot program to test several dozen Skylord systems in the field.
The Skylord system is equipped with an "expanded reality" interface mounted on the drone that enables the operator to control it remotely and thus engage various aerial targets – primarily enemy drones. A previous version of the drone was already used successfully to deal with threats of terror organizations on the Gaza border.
The system's interface developed by the Xtend company enables the operator of the drone to feel the area "through the eyes of the drone" and thus experience what is happening as if he was there, without endangering his life. Besides identifying threats and the capability to defend against them, the system also enables remote operation of special payloads.
The head of the UAV Branch of the DDR&D, Lt. Col. Menachem Landau, said "This joint activity implements novel technological capabilities taken from the field of augmented reality and from the world of gaming. We look forward to expanding our collaboration with our colleagues in the CTTSO and to continue developing advanced technology to protect our forces and enhance their operational capabilities.”
Aviv Shapira, CEO of Extend, said "The system that we developed is one of the world’s most advanced counter-UAS solutions. We are thrilled at the opportunity given to us to take part in this important operational cooperation that will help protect the lives of both IDF and US soldiers on the battlefield."