Israeli Woman Finds Military Drone Lost 18 Months Ago

The drone belonging to the Artillery Corps' Sky Riders unit went missing during a military exercise

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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An Israeli Air Force Sky Rider aircraft.
An Israeli Air Force Sky Rider aircraft. Credit: IDF Spokesman's Unit
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

An Israeli woman found a military drone that went missing some 18 months ago. The woman, from the Bedouin village of Ibtin in the western Galilee, found the drone in a field near her home two weeks ago, said the police and army.

The police were skeptical at first, and suspected that it was a civilian drone. But when they arrived on the scene and inspected it, they realized it belonged to the Artillery Corps' Sky Riders unit. They removed the aircraft and informed the army.

An internal inquiry determined that the drone was apparently lost about a year and a half ago during an exercise. The army it abandoned its search for the craft after failing to find it.

The army spokesman’s office said in response that “a civilian found a drone in the north of the Sky Riders type. This is a Sky Rider that was lost during an exercise. The incident was reported to the police and the aircraft was returned to its unit.”

In September two Sky Rider drones crashed in open areas near Hebron and Bethlehem, but both were found. The army said it was not concerned that classified material would be leaked because when contact with a drone is lost, all information it contains is automatically deleted.

The IDF spokesman’s office confirmed on Saturday that an Israeli drone had crashed in southern Lebanon following a technical failure. According to the report, the drone went down between the villages of Beit Yahoun and Bar’ashit. According to the website Al Mayadeen, the drone carried four missiles. The IDF says no relevant data can be obtained from the systems of the craft, a Hermes 450 model drone.

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