“UAVs are an integral part of the orchestra that makes up military forces”

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Major General (ret) David Ivri, President, Boeing Israel, unveils hitherto undisclosed details about Mig-21 fighter jets in pursuit of Israeli UAVs

IVRI“Unmanned aerial vehicles [UAVs] are currently an integral part of the orchestra that makes up military force. Not long from now, jet fighters will complete UAVs rather than the other way around. Nevertheless, there will always be manned missions necessitating a real flesh and blood pilot.” This is a statement made just now by Major General (ret) David Ivri, President, Boeing Israel and VP, Boeing International, at the start of the unmanned systems event at Rishon LeZion.

Unmanned systems conference 2014 – Israel

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Ivri, a former Israeli Air Force commander and a highly experienced veteran pilot, disclosed hitherto unpublished tid bits about IAF’s first UAVs in the 1960’s: “MABAT” and “TELEM”.

Ivri: “We used the “MABAT” to carry out deep incursions into enemy territory to obtain aerial footage. During one of the sorties, a Mig-21 tried to intercept it. We steered the “MABAT” to an altitude of 50,000 feet, and the Mig-21 maintained pursuit, but spiraled and crashed. Thus, the UAV squadron downed an enemy aircraft.

In another case, a UAV flew over Syria on a photography mission. Another Mig-21 tried to intercept it, and flew right under our UAV, whose camera took footage of the Mig and the pilot’s helmet. After landing safely, we attached the following caption to this footage: “stupid pilot filmed by stupid aircraft.”