Israel's national drone project will operate a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles to track protests and riots, as well as damage caused by rockets fired from Gaza. The drones will help the Home Front Command's efforts to map the damages caused by rockets in hard to reach places.
The goal of the project, operated by Israel's official urban aerial project "Na'ama", is to provide visual access to places that cannot be reached by land – or at least those that cannot be accessed easily. The drones will document sites hit by rockets.
They will also play another role: To help keep track of protests, if not also provide assistance during riots.
The drones will provide a video feed that will be sent directly to the command center of one of the state companies operating the project.
The project is being led by the Israel Urban Air Mobility Initiative (known by its Hebrew acronym Na’ama), under the auspices of the government’s Israel Innovation Authority. The initiative was established by the state-owned Ayalon Highways company, together with the Transportation Ministry, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the Alternative Fuels Administration and Smart Transportation initiative in the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Na’ama initiative is intended to lay the groundwork for civilian drone flights in Israel. This involves both testing automatic systems that will allow large swarms of drones to operate, for example, delivery services over Israel's skies, as well as helping create the needed regulatory conditions for a private drone market.
The project has already seen in recent days a massive pilot test flight involving hundreds of delivery drones over the central Israeli city of Hadera. In the past, another pilot project tested the ability of a large number of drones to deliver coronavirus tests and vaccines to hospitals and clinics across Israel.
- Israel plans massive drone delivery test – with hundreds of flights a day
- Drone air forces are taking off across the Mideast, challenging Israeli defenses
- Israel examines using grenade-launched mini drones
The companies involved in this project are BWR (Blue and White Robotics), Playtech, High Lander Aviation, Cando Drones and Airways Drones.
"The information received from the drones operated by these companies will interface with our command center," the Na'ama project said in a statement. "Our command center is centralized and will be operated from the Ayalon Highway company's headquarters. The center is manned by professionally from the drone firms, as well as observes from the state companies and the Home Front Command," they said.
"In line with a request from the Home Front Command, two teams are already preparing to be deployed tentatively if need be in Ashkelon and Ashdod," they added, referencing two cities along Israel's southern coastline that have been repeatedly hit by rocket barrages.