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      Israel Leads West, U.S. in Drone Production

      Israel Air Force official says Israel is ahead, “by ten years,” of the West and the United States in the use of drones.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 3/23/2009, 7:22 PM / Last Update: 3/24/2009, 10:22 AM

      An Israel Air Force official says Israel is ahead of the West and the United States in the use of drones, by ten years.

      The drones were widely used, and to great advantage, in Israel's anti-terror Operation Cast Lead offensive in Gaza that ended over two months ago. Drones were used every day of the three-week campaign, Lt.-Col. Gil told Arutz Sheva’s Kobi Finkler, and saved soldiers’ lives on several occasions. The information and pictures they provided aided various forces and units, he said.

      “We learned that the widespread use we made of this instrument was a determining factor in our successful activity in Gaza during the battles,” the officer said.

      Another senior IAF officer said, “We are ten years ahead of the West and the U.S. in terms of our ability to develop drone technology.”

      Pinpointing Targets and Loading Onto Data Base
      Operation Cast Lead also saw the use of other advanced Israeli technological equipment, such as a unique sighting system that enables the pinpointing of targets and the uploading of their locations onto a data base used by various other systems. In addition, the IAF made wide use of Israel’s special helicopter sighting and target-tracking helmet, in use today in many of the world’s armies.