Procurement: Israelis Sell Record Number of UAVs


September 18, 2005: The world's foremost developer and manufacturer or UAVs,
Israeli Aerospace Industry (IAI) and Elbit Systems, has scored two large
contracts. One, for $50 million, is from the Israeli Defense Forces, while the
other, for $150 million, is to supply several models to the Turkish armed
forces. During the 1970s and 80s, while everyone else essentially stumbled
around trying to develop effective UAVs, the Israelis went out and did it, and
successfully used their UAVs in combat. Shortly thereafter, the United States
finally bought Israeli UAVs, and UAV technology, and most current American UAVs
contain plenty of that technology. However, there is a dark side to this success
story. Israel has also sold UAVs to China, including Harpy anti-radar UAVs, that
could prove a major threat to American forces if there were ever a battle
between Chinese and U.S. forces. Israel compounded the problem by not telling
the U.S. when Chinese UAVs were upgraded by Israel, to make those UAVs even more
lethal. Israeli UAV developments are watched carefully by the growing number of
UAV manufacturers in the rest of the world. In many respects, the Israelis are
still the leaders in UAV technology.


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