Using drones to stop terror balloons and kites

Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal

Since the violent Gaza protests started in March 2018, thousands of acres of southern Israel have been set ablaze, crops destroyed, wildlife killed, and the lives of hundreds of thousands threatened from flaming terror balloons and kites.

By Thursday of this last week, nearly 100 fires from these incendiary cross-border attacks were enveloping and ravaging the communities, kibbutzim, nature preserves, and farmland of southern Israel.

Israelis, long known for building, innovating, and “making the deserts bloom,” now face terror from an enemy wanting to instead make the forests and fields incinerate.

What the Palestinian terrorists have recently not been as successful in achieving with the run-of-the-mill terrorist playbook of suicide bombings, shootings, and knife attacks, they now seek to do with fire–kill Jews and inflict destruction in the sovereign State of Israel.

Fortunately, Israel is at the forefront of the technology for remotely controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, which are highly versatile, quick, and maneuverable. In military applications, these are traditionally used for surveillance, reconnaissance, and targeted counter-terrorism operations.

But drones can do so much more in both the defensive and offensive realms. For example, drones have been tested in attacking and bringing down other hostile drones, and the military has been researching and developing the use of drone swarms to overwhelm adversaries and their weapons throughout the battlespace. Further, the realization of the use of miniaturized or microdrones, the size of insects, brings enormous potential for enhancing both our military and spycraft, as envisioned as early as the 1970s.

In this vein, it is not hard to imagine Israel developing drones that can effectively deal with the terror balloons and kites. If a drone, can hover for extended periods overhead, go on GPS or remote-controlled operational missions, and can even be used to “take out” terrorist targets or other drones, then certainly they can intercept, capture, redirect, or destroy the flaming balloons and kites that the terrorists are sending to kill and destroy.

Certainly, it is not a small feat to be able to develop and deploy drones that can counter the thousands of incendiary attacks being directed from Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. However, Israel and the IDF not only have the fundamental technical and scientific knowhow with both drones and missile defense, but also they have the motivation, with G-d’s help, to save the lives of the Israeli people as well as the beautiful and holy land of Israel.

About the Author
Andy Blumenthal is business and technology leader who writes frequently about Jewish life, culture, and security. All opinions are his own.
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