Tel Aviv: thousands attend UVID Dronetech 2021 conference

“Unmanned vehicle technologies must be defined as a leading issue in Israel’s national perception,” said conference Chairperson, Alon Unger. Israel currently exports an annual $2 billion’s worth of unmanned vehicles and related products

Tel Aviv: thousands attend UVID Dronetech 2021 conference

UVID Dronetech 2021

Thousands of unmanned vehicle enthusiasts from Israel and abroad are currently (Wednesday) gathered in the Expo Tel Aviv conference center, to attend the UVID Dronetech 2021 conference, by Israel Defense. The full-day conference includes dozens of top industry expert lectures from the military, civilian and academic realms; a large exhibition showcasing the best unmanned aerial, ground and naval vehicles; and a chance to share impressions and mingle with peers.

Amir Rapaport, owner and CEO of Israel Defense, kicked off the conference by praising the existence of an in-person conference, not something to take lightly following almost two years of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Alon Under, chairperson and co-founder of the UVID conferences, assured the audience that there will be no more online conferences (as was the case last year). “We need to meet each other in person,” he said. “UVID creates reality, and participants create new things in this industry, which will be with us for many years to come.”

Reut Borochov from the Israel Innovation Authority discussed vision behind the National Drone Initiative, explaining that its goal is to operate a national infrastructure of drones that help ease the load off the busy roads by being accessible to the general public. Borochov stated that a record 9,000 drone flights were completed up to date in Israel, and that the project has been generating global interest.

Israel’s Chief Artillery Officer, Brig. Ge. Neri Horowitz, said on stage that he sees UAVs as integral components of Israel’s security and national strategy. Horowitz mentioned that the Artillery Corps today already has two UAV units, with plans for a third one. “There is no more exclusivity, everything is multi-dimensional. UAVs are operated by gunners, the vertical dimension is now part of the warfare,” he said.

Brig. Gen. Neri Horowitz. Photo: Ziv Barak

At the same time, though, Israel’s adversaries in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip are also evolving and developing capabilities, warned Horowitz, adding that future wars will be fought between opposing unmanned vehicles.

Tal Ohana, Mayor of the Yeruham Municipal Council in southern Israel, discussed her town’s potential leadership in the UAV field. There are 300 engineers in Yeruham, who will be at the heart of its technological infrastructure, together with discharged soldiers.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) VP of Marketing, Hudi Lahav, said that the unmanned vehicle field is one of the main growth factors of the company – a global leader which boasts technological innovation and a complete approach that connects air, land, sea and cyber.

According to Lahav, the State of Israel exports an annual $2 billion’s worth of unmanned vehicles and related products, with additional growth a likely possibility.

**Additional reporting by Mandi Kogosowski

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