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Israeli Army to Introduce 'New Generation' Drones in Combat Zones

© AP Photo / Ariel SchalitIn this July 9, 2013 file photo, an Israeli soldier holds up a Skylark I (Rochev Shamayim) unmanned drone as part of a demonstration for Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, center, in an urban warfare army training facility, near Zeelim, southern Israel.
In this July 9, 2013 file photo, an Israeli soldier holds up a Skylark I (Rochev Shamayim) unmanned drone as part of a demonstration for Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, center, in an urban warfare army training facility, near Zeelim, southern Israel. - Sputnik International
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The Israeli Defense Forces Artillery is to begin testing a new drone, which according to sources, will greatly improve intelligence gathering and can be used in combat zones.

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The new drone, called Skylark 3, will begin trial operations in April 2017. The testing of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) will be carried out by the Israeli Defense Forces Artillery, also known as Sky Riders. 

The drone, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, has the technology that allows it to remain in flight longer and is equipped with advanced photographic equipment.

According to sources, the artillery units of the Israeli army use drones to perform reconnaissance and intelligence missions and they can be used to enter a combat zone in the heart of enemy territory, whilst providing information to the unit positioned just a few kilometers away.

​These new innovations will refine the operational capabilities of field forces during combat, and battalion commanders will be able to operate independently in terms of intelligence collecting. It will also allow the army to scan an area before an attack. 

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This is not the first time that the Israeli army has tried to introduce drones. Over a decade ago, a UAV was looked at, however according to sources the plan was stalled. In 2012, again a similar project was looked at, however due to budgetary constraints the idea was stopped. 

The drone will be able to fly for around six hours, and be able to travel approximately 100 kilometers. Among other advances, the drone uses a parachute-assisted landing system in order to protect its image-capturing equipment.

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