The coming months will see the completion of one of the most efficient and deadly weapons developed in Israel in the last few years – the K1 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The UAV, whose simulation video was first seen on Ynet, is about the size and weight of a bird of prey, and is named for its lethal nature – Kamikaze-Killer.
It was developed and produced by Israeli workers and engineers at one of the most advanced and largest assembly lines for small and medium UAVs in the world, at the Aeronautics Defense Systems company in Yavne. It is unclear whether the IDF will purchase it.
The K1 was unveiled at the Paris Air Show this month, and a prototype has already had a successful operational test in recent weeks at the military experimental field in the south.
It contains a 2.5 kilogram warhead with 4,000 tungsten fragments that can powerfully scatters over a radius of 25 meters.
The UAV is designed less for collecting intelligence than for homing in on a target and damage control when a UAV fails to strike a target.
The K1 is designed for surgical strikes on targets like light vehicles or terrorist cells. The UAV can also explode in the air slightly above the target.
It has the capability to remain airborne for two to two-and-a-half hours, relatively silently. Unlike other UAVs in the world, the K1 can return to its handlers and land nearby unscathed in the event that the mission is cancelled at the last moment.
Aeronautics explained that "another advantage has to do with the ground stations that control it, in the form of a small and rigid computer display, keyboard or joysticks beside an antenna, allowing easy maneuverability in the field without trailers or heavy systems."
The company added that the UAV is "unobservable and invulnerable, much cheaper than missiles designed for identical missions, and its cost could reach up a few tens of thousands of dollars per unit."
Over the past few weeks, the Israeli company – which sells most of the weapons it produces abroad (to 50 foreign militaries worldwide, on each continent) – has been in talks with customers abroad, who have expressed interest.