The Pentagon signed a contract with Israeli company Xtend to acquire several dozen small drones for use in buildings and crowded urban surroundings by special forces of the U.S. Navy, Army and Marines.
In cooperation with Israel's Defense Ministry, the Pentagon ordered the Xtend Skylord drone. The value of the contract was not released. The drone is one of the small unmanned systems developed by the Israeli company, such as the Skylord Griffon meant to attack other drones that was displayed recently at a drone demonstration in Yuma, Arizona. The system is already operational with the IDF Special Forces, according to a report by Defense News.
Xtend describes the drone as suitable for close quarters battle in urban areas against other drones, subterranean operations and counter improvised explosive device missions. The drone provides situational awareness, 3D video and use of artificial intelligence.
Ido Bar-On, vice president of business development and sales, emphasized that the drone is also suitable for operators without flight experience, and that a person can learn to operate the drone within seconds. "The challenge is (that) you don’t have GPS or lighting indoors," he said. Xtend works in cooperation with Israel’s Defense Ministry and the Directorate of Defense Research and Development, and has been doing so with the U.S. Defense Department for the last year as well.