A high-ranking Israeli Air Force officer said Israel aims to develop drones that can execute nearly every battlefield operation performed today by piloted aircraft.
The official said that Israel's military industry is on the path to developing such technology within 40 to 50 years.
- 21st century battlefield: Race of drones
- Report: 'Israeli drone' shot down Syrian missile
- Iran says Israeli-Azeri drones 'spotted' near border
The officer, who works in the field of unmanned aerial vehicle intelligence, spoke Sunday in a rare interview to The Associated Press. He spoke anonymously because of the classified nature of his work.
"There is a process happening now of transferring tasks from manned to unmanned vehicles," the officer said. "This trend will continue to become stronger."
Israel is a world leader in drone technology. The officer claimed the country was second only to the United States in the range of unmanned aerial systems its produces.
He said he was "aware" that American drones are capable of firing missiles, but refused to say whether Israeli drones could do the same, despite dozens of witness accounts from the Gaza Strip who attest to seeing the small craft shoot missiles.
The officer said Israel also looks to develop tactical satellites for military use.
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop