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An Israeli Firm Reportedly Sent A Suicide Drone To Bomb Armenian Troops For Azerbaijan
ISIS may have pioneered the use of the suicide drone on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, but formal governments are increasingly getting in on the action.
An Israeli drone maker apparently attempted to bomb Armenian military personnel with “one of its unmanned kamikaze aerial vehicles” back in October 2017, the Times of Israel reported on Wednesday. According to the leaked complaint with the Israeli Defense Ministry, drone manufacturer Aeronautics Defense Systems’ Orbiter 1K suicide drone was dispatched to the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region “at the request of Azerbaijani clients during a sales demonstration.”
Here are the technical details, per Joseph Trevithick at The War Zone:
Aeronautics employees reportedly refused to carry out the 2017 mission and company executives subsequently stepped in to fly the drone themselves. Though it’s not clear if this was deliberate or not, the drone reportedly missed the target, only injuring two ethnic Armenian fighters.
It could very well be that the executives made this decision consciously since Orbiter 1K has a so-called man-in-the-loop guidance system whereby the operator is either actively flying or otherwise monitoring the video feeds from the drone and they can see what it sees throughout the mission.
"The Israeli government has permitted private defense companies to demonstrate their wares in actual combat,” he writes, “but this is rare and is unlikely to have occurred in this case, since Israel does not view Armenia as an enemy.”
State-run suicide drones are nothing new: U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Army have all independently pursued kamikaze drones deployable through man-portable systems. Indeed, the Israeli military has embraced kamikaze drones in recent years, and the Justice Ministry’s complaint primarily focuses on Aeronautics’ violation of the country’s security and arms export control regulations rather than, say, a new form of explosion delivery.
But the incident underscores the practical future of kamikaze drones in government arsenals, a rising concern among national security experts. In April 2015, a drone deployed radioactive material to the top of the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s official residence. More recently, anti-government dissidents attempted to assassinate Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with an explosives-laden drone during a military celebration.
Ironically, the world first learned that the Israel had sold suicide drones to the Azerbaijan thanks to an April music video from pop star Narmin Karimbayova that appeared to show one of Israel’s IAI Harop loitering munition systems launched from a truck-mounted missile battery.
Suicide drones: Not even once.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
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After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's paramilitary groups on Wednesday blamed a series of recent blasts at their weapons depots and bases on the United States and Israel.
The statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, many of which are backed by Iran, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying U.S. forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.