Thursday, 25 August 2011

Israel uses mini-drone for assassination

Israel has designed a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to help Israeli intelligence services identify and target leaders of Palestinian resistance movements.

The newly unveiled spying UAV, dubbed Ghost, is an almost silent drone that weighs 9 pounds (nearly 4 kilograms), UPI reported.

The twin-rotor vertical take-off drone is designed for special clandestine operations in urban areas and has a range of around 2.5 miles (four kilometers), a flight endurance of 6 hours and speed of around 37 miles (59.5 kilometer) an hour.

The device can be carried in backpacks, along with spare batteries and a computer, by two soldiers who control it from a laptop computer.

The mini-helicopter, 4.76 feet in length and with a rotor span of 2.46 feet, is said to be capable of flying into buildings through windows to provide real-time intelligence for special forces or company-size infantry units.

It can also provide ground forces with a unique horizontal, eyelevel visibility and which means a comprehensive view of their targets and operational environment that lookdown UAVs cannot offer.

First displayed in March, the Ghost is to be soon marketed in the United States, where it was first unveiled.

The UAV can track targets for assassination by war drones, helicopter gunships or F-16 strike jets using precision-guided munitions, a tactic frequently used against Palestinian leaders.

Last October, Israel unveiled a larger craft named the Panther with a takeoff weight of about 138 pounds (62.6 kilograms) and a wingspan of 25 feet, which is capable of staying airborne for 6 hours.

The electrically powered UAV is designed to be carried in a backpack by a single soldier.