Israel leads the way as drone swarms arrive in Middle East


Israel used drone swarm technology in the recent Gaza war. Much of this technology and how it has been used has not been revealed, but what’s important is the larger context.

Drone swarms are a new concept and are related to the development of artificial intelligence and networked military units, a futuristic battlefield application that uses the latest technological advancements.

The use of this type of technology in conflict has raised concerns for years as human rights groups denounced the advent of “killer robots.” Evidence shows that what is really happening is not the creation of “killer robots” but rather the use of technology to allow drones and other autonomous or unmanned systems to work together.

This is important because other countries in the region are also working on new technologies. Iran used drones and cruise missiles to attack Saudi Arabia in September 2019. Turkey built a drone that allegedly “stalked” people in Libya, although many mysteries remain as to the autonomy of the country. drone and if he really stalked opponents using artificial weapons. intelligence.

Regardless of how the Turkish autonomous drone Kargu-2 works, media headlines have stated that it may represent the first use of “AI-armed drones” and that the “new era” of robot warfare may be upon us. doors.

Israel is also making major advances in AI-based technology. The IDF made its debut with “swarms of drones to search for and attack hidden targets” during the May war in Gaza, according to Tamir Eshel on the Defense Update website.

“Although Israel refrained from committing its ground forces to cross the border, some of the ground forces used unmanned systems to strike inside the enemy area in order to search for and destroy hidden targets,” he wrote. “This was the combat debut of a new capability developed by the IDF that demonstrated the great value of manned and unmanned operations at the tactical forefront. “

According to this account, the drone swarms were “provided by Elbit Systems as a developer and integration partner of the Defense Research and Development Directorate of IMOD (DR&DD) and the Defense Systems Directorate. weapons of the Land Forces Command (GFC). This integration included the provision of weapon systems, drones, networks and C4I. “

“The Israel Security Agency (ISA) and specialized IDF units have provided the methods and tools to access the vast strategic intelligence resources that have enabled company operators to improve information and knowledge. of the situation at the forefront of tactics, ”Eshel wrote.

The article goes on to mention Elbit’s THOR drone, which the IDF acquired.

According to this account and others, the advent of the AI-driven drone swarms used by Israel appears to be tied to the new Momentum plan which saw the IDF focus on technology and digitization, including the creation of ‘a new multidimensional group of units.

The phantom unit, which is part of the parachute brigade, used “drone packs”, according to reports in March.

“One of the primary tools used to promote multidimensional perception is Elbit’s Digital Army 750 system, a communications, command and control platform that can be used by all military wings and shows the location of friendly and enemy forces on the ground, based on intelligence, ”the Jerusalem Post reported.

The Israeli military has declared the recent war to be the “first AI war” from Israel’s perspective.

Israeli soldiers participate in exercises as part of the multi-year plan “Tnoufa”. (Photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Unit)

Details of the IDF’s use of drone swarms are mounting.

An IFLScience blog post said: “In the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have deployed AI and supercomputers to identify strike targets in what they are dealing with. call the first war of artificial intelligence (AI). . In May this year, the IDF used a swarm of AI-guided drones and supercomputers to comb through data and identify new targets in the Gaza Strip. It is believed to be the first time that a swarm of AI drones has been used in combat.

A report by The New Scientist has been widely cited, and another report noted that “by harnessing the swarm’s ability to concentrate rapidly by maneuver, it becomes possible to effect a mass effect on hundreds of points. simultaneously… the advantage this provides is the ability to conduct… a parallel attack, but on an unprecedented scale.

Regional media are also reacting to the reports, with Al Jazeera examining new drone swarm technology and the implications of human rights reports that have warned of “killer robots.”

What matters is how this technology can transform the war in the region. Drones are increasingly used by pro-Iranian groups in Iraq, as well as by Hamas and other terrorists and activists. Iran, a drone pioneer, has focused on extending the range and threat of its drones.

Turkey is also a pioneer of drones. Ankara is looking for a more integrated solution that includes smaller drones, midsize drones armed with missiles, and larger and heavier surveillance drones that can be optionally armed.

Overall, the Turkish company is impressive, drawing on its military-industrial complex and the motivations of its current leaders to extend Ankara’s influence from Africa to Asia. Turkish drones could also fly more over European skies, as sales in Ukraine and Poland increase.

Meanwhile, Israeli companies are heading to Greece for a defense exhibit called DEFEA which will showcase a variety of technologies, including anti-tank munitions and other UVision drones.

The big question for countries in the region and for terrorist groups is how this drone and swarm technology, linked to networks and artificial intelligence to connect to headquarters and other units, will end up? by mature.

The Gaza War presented a very small and compact battlespace that was apparently not barred by many electronic warfare challenges. This means that Israel had full control of the airspace and that it was not “contested”.

Drone swarming technology and AI could work well in Israeli theaters of conflict, similar to the one Turkey has found in Libya. The question is, what happens when he runs into more complex nearby enemies?

When Iran used drones and cruise missiles against Saudi Arabia, they apparently escaped radar and air defenses. The Iranian-backed Houthis were unable to accomplish a similar escape.

Nonetheless, as drone swarm technology and artificial intelligence influence future battlefields, the recent conflict in Gaza – as well as Turkey’s role in Libya and Iran’s attacks on Saudi Arabia – can be seen as precursors of the next great artificial intelligence-based conflict. .


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