The IDF is developing a new drone, the first of its kind to be developed by the Israeli military in-house.
The development of the drone, codenamed Tzur, began about two years ago, and could conclude in a year, following further tests.
The Tzur is larger than standard civilian drones, which have been used by the IDF for short-range surveillance over the past two years. The final model of the Tzur is expected to weigh about 10-15 kilograms, with its blade span being 1.5 meters.
It has a wide range of capabilities, including quality visual surveillance, both in daytime and nighttime, and transportation of supplies and ammunition. It will be operable at a distance of up to ten kilometers, capable of flying to heights of hundreds of meters, and carrying several kilograms of cargo.
"It'll have several advantages over the existing hoverers, and over the (large and small drones)," a high-ranking IDF official explained.
"Its engine will be silent, it will be able to move in urban territory between alleys and structures, and even station itself, unmoving, in front of the window of a room for long periods of time—stealthily and without being seen—and capture what's happening inside. The great challenge in developing (it) is time in the air versus the complexity of its missions. (Plane-sized drones) are limited in where they can land and are more complex to pilot. We'll want a soldier to learn how to fly this kind of drone within an hour."
In general, the IDF is contemplating expanding the use of hoverer drones in its combat operations. The Israeli military would like to see each combat battalion have use of at least one hover drone, just as many now have use of drones like the Skylark.