The US Military has launched an operational pilot program deploying Israeli-developed Skylord drone defense systems.
A joint research and development program led by the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) in the Israel Ministry of Defense, the Israeli Xtend, and the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO) of the US Department of Defense has produced a drone system with a remote immersive interface that protects troops from various inbound aerial threats, and particularly drones.
Close cooperation has led to the development of a system in accordance with concrete operational requirements.
Following a year of R&D and various tests, the CTTSO decided to launch an operational pilot program, testing and validating the system’s capabilities in the field. As part of the pilot program, several dozen Skylord systems will be employed by US troops.
Using an Augmented Reality (AR) device and a single-handed controller, a military operator can deploy the Skylord system to control the drone and perform complex tasks remotely, with great ease and precision.
Its interface enables the operator to immersively “step into” a remote reality and engage targets effectively and safely.
With minimal training and no expertise required, troops enjoy a full sensory situation assessment and may utilize Counter Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (C-UAV) net payloads on the battlefield.
The system’s capabilities have been demonstrated in Israel, with confirmed interceptions of incendiary devices launched by terrorists from the Gaza Strip.
“This operational pilot program is the first step towards the widespread deployment of smart systems to US military forces, enabling them to perform complex tasks in the modern battlefield, while minimizing risk,” Israel Ministry of Defense stated Tuesday.
“It is also one of the most significant and successful areas of cooperation between the DDR&D and its American partners, highlighting the crucial and extraordinary relations between our respective defense establishments,” it added.
Head of the UAV Branch in the DDR&D of the Ministry of Defense, Lt. Col. Menachem Landau noted that the system “implements novel technological capabilities” taken from the field of AR, and from the gaming world.
It enables the troops to “employ intuitive, battle-proven and precise systems follow a minimal training period, and to engage hostile flying objects such as drones,” he added.
Xtend CEO Aviv Shapira lauded the Skylord as “one of the world’s most advanced C-UAS Hard Kill solution,” and said that the XTEND team is “thrilled at the opportunity to deploy our systems in operational missions – and to protect the lives of both US and IDF combat soldiers.”