Israeli Military Drone Crashes in Gaza Strip

Incident is the second of its kind in a week, but the army assures that no intelligence was leaked because any information would have been automatically erased

File photo: A Sky Rider drone is launched.
IDF Spokesperson Unit

A tactical Israeli drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle of the Sky Rider class, crashed in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday night, the second such incident during military activity in a week in Palestinian territory. Israeli military forces located the drone soon after it fell.

The previous drone crashed in the vicinity of Bethlehem, and another Sky Rider, operated by the Artillery Corps, crashed in Lebanon in May.

When Sky Riders have crashed, the army has asserted that there is no concern about intelligence leaking, like discovering the drone’s area of operation or extracting data from it.

The drone, which weighs seven kilograms, is programed as such that if it crashes and loses contact, the information contained within it is automatically erased. A commander in the unit said that most Sky Rider crashes result from technical failures and not from human error.

After each such incident, both Elbit, the company that manufactured the mini-UAV, and the Artillery Corps investigate the circumstances of the incident. He added that the rate of crashes is nearly 30 percent less than Elbit had forecasted, if one adds up all the hours that the Sky Rider drones have been operated in the air.