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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘drone’

US Demanding Clarification, Gift Drone to Russia May Carry Secret Camera

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

The Obama Administration has asked for clarification regarding the $52,000 drone Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) last week handed over to Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev during a tour of the Volcani Center (Research Staff ‘Down’ $52 K Gift Drone from Israeli Minister to Russian PM).

A senior official in Jerusalem has told Ha’aretz the Americans wanted to know if US made technology was onboard the gifted drone. Apparently, US embassy diplomats have already contacted Israel’s defense, foreign, and agriculture ministries, as well as the prime minister’s deputy national security advisor, after having read about the Agriculture Minister’s generosity in his rare bout with diplomacy.

The Americans believe a sophisticated, US made camera is installed on the Volcani drone, the kind that require a special application for US government permission should said camera be sold to a third-party. Needless to say, in the current political frost between US Democrats and Russian officials, and considering the economic sanctions against Russia, such an application would have ended up in a DC shredder.

So far, according to Ha’aretz, Jerusalem has told Washington the camera was removed from the drone (which was made in Spain). But now the Israeli defense ministry has been wondering just how many local security regulations the generous minister violated. Needless to say, he did not consult the defense apparatus before making his $52,000 gesture of friendship.

It should be noted in Minister Ariel’s defense that his ministry is in the midst of negotiating an $11 billion agricultural cooperation deal, so that from his point of view the drone was a small price to pay considering such enormous stakes.

As we mentioned yesterday, when the representatives from the Russian embassy showed up at the Rishon Lezion Volcani institute, they were handed the drone but not its operating system or remote control. The Volcani scientists insist they’d let go of those when they see the $52,000 increase in their operating budget, thank you very much.

David Israel

Research Staff ‘Down’ $52 K Gift Drone from Israeli Minister to Russian PM

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) last week handed over to Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev a drone worth $52 thousand belonging to Volcani Center researchers.

Ariel hosted Medvedev on his tour at Israel’s world renowned agricultural research and development institute, introducing his VIP guest to several innovations Israel is hoping to get the Russians interested in, including a robot designed for spraying agricultural fields and crops in hothouses, a new tool for testing the sugar level in apples, new sensors to monitor milk quality and output in cows, and new wheat storage solutions that protect against pests.

According to Calcalist, one of the presentations was of a drone used for irrigation research, and when Ariel noticed how very interested Medvedev had been in this drone, he told his staff to deliver it to the Russian PM as a gift. Institute staff were shocked and then irate at this grab-from-above, but in agricultural institutions the Minister of Agriculture is second only to God.

Volcani senior staff member Moshe Reuveni told Calcalist that “transferring the device that was used by the Volcani Center for agricultural research projects currently in development disregards all administrative procedures and all rules and laws regarding high level visits.” Reuveni was furious that “aside from the damage caused by giving a device costing hundreds of thousands of shekels, and the damage to our image, there is also the obvious damage caused by freezing agricultural research.”

After the drone had been delivered and the Russian delegation flew with it back home, a Medvedev representative called the Agriculture ministry to inquire about the remote control device that had not been packed with the drone. According to Ma’ariv reported Ben Kaspit’s Twitt, Volcani staff told the ministry they’d hold on to the remote until they receive the budget for a new drone.

Meanwhile, as soon as he landed in Moscow, PM Medvedev was confronted with the arrest of Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev on suspicion of taking a $2 million bribe, so maybe it’s better his gift drone stays grounded.

David Israel

Israel Will Not Sign On to US Regulation of Israeli Drone Exports

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Israel is refusing to sign a document on drone usage which is being circulated by the US State Department, with guidelines on the use and export of armed drones, Haaretz reported Sunday. The one-page document covers international legal standards, oversight of exports, and transparency.

So far, the documents has been signed by more than 40 governments, including Austria, Germany and Italy, but Israel appears to be a stubborn holdout.

The State Department unveiled back in March of 2015 its policy permitting US companies to export military and commercial drones, including armed systems like the Predator and Reaper to US allies. According to a Defense News report last August, the State Department is now asking countries to sign onto a set of international norms for the sale and use of armed unmanned systems, adding that top agency officials held meetings with delegates from several countries at the Arms Trade Treaty conference in Geneva on the subject.

According to DN, the document offers five key principles of international norms, including applying International law and human rights when using the armed drones; following existing arms control laws in selling armed drone systems; considering the buyer country’s history on “adherence to international obligations and commitments”; following “appropriate transparency measures”; and ensuring that the sold unmanned system’s capabilities “are transferred and used responsibly by all States.”

Sources in Israel’s defense industry have told Ha’aretz they think the American document could limit their export business, and, in fact, constitutes yet another American attempt to damage Israeli exports. They cite another US move in admitting India to the multilateral Missile Technology Control Regime, this removing barriers to the sale of American drones to India. Shortly thereafter, India went shopping for the US made Predador drone over its Israeli competitors. Ha’aretz reported earlier about a lawsuit by an American company, General Atomics, trying to block Israel from leasing the Heron TP drone to Germany. Slowly but surely, these and other American companies have been encroaching on a field where in the past Israeli products ruled.

A senior Israeli Air Force official told Ha’aretz that the one advantage the Israeli drones still possess is the promise to potential buyers to train with Israel’s drone squadron, because the Israel Air Force is considered the world’s expert in the use of drones.

JNi.Media

Primitive ‘Kite’ Drone Infiltrates Israel From Gaza

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

A kite fitted with a camera was spotted flying into Israel from northern Gaza on Sabbath morning, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television news.

IDF soldiers who spotted the primitive homemade unmanned aerial vehicle opened fire, prompting its unidentified operators to pull it back over the border and back into Gaza.

“During the morning hours, a kite with a camera was spotted as it crossed the border from Gaza into Israel,” said an IDF spokesperson. “IDF forces fired into the air, and the kite and its owners left the area.”

It is not yet known who was operating the primitive spy device, but the kite was pulled back into a vehicle just inside the border in Gaza, which then traveled in the direction of Beit Hanoun, military sources said.

Last week Gaza terrorists fired two rocket attacks at southern Israel, one exploding on a road in a residential area in the town of Sderot, and the second in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

Israeli Defense Forces retaliated in response to both attacks with air strikes and artillery fire aimed at terrorist targets in Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Drone Seen Exploding After Targeted by IDF [video]

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

The IDF has released video footage of the Hamas drone which was shot down on Tuesday by an IAF fighter jet. The video was made available late in the day, hours after the incident took place.

“Hamas has been developing its drone capabilities, especially in the last two years,” Lt.Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement.

“Today’s event proves once more that Hamas continues to invest in tools of terror and not in the needs of the people of Gaza.”

Hana Levi Julian

US Company Objects to Israeli-German Drone Deal

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

An American defense contractor has objected to a deal reached by Israel to lease the Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to Germany for approximately 650 million euros.

As a result, the contract for the drone was put on hold after US defense contractor General Atomics began legal proceedings against the German Defense Ministry, claiming the deal was reached without opening the tender for bidding by other companies.

General Atomics (GA), which also manufactures drones, also pressured Germany to accept U.S. products over others, due to the membership of both nations in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO.) The company is a major force in the U.S. defense industry.

It’s a known fact that GA’s drone — called the “Predator B” — is smaller than the Israeli Heron TP (referred to by the Israeli Air Force as the “Eitan”) and has the ability to stay aerial for only 14 hours, as opposed to the Eitan’s 70 hours’ aerial staying power.

The Germany Ministry of Defense shared a letter with Reuters explaining that the case by General Atomic has already been dismissed once by a lower German court, and it is assumed the appeal will uphold that ruling. Nevertheless, the issue has forced the ministry to postpone its deal with Israel for the next three to nine months.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Admits the Drone was Theirs

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

On July 17, a drone entered Israeli airspace from Syria and flew over the Golan. As reported in JewishPress.com, Israel launched 2 Patriot missiles at the drone, as well as a missile launched from an aircraft.

All three missile missed, and the drone flew back into Syria.

Fragment from the missiles landed near Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar, and a 14-year-old girl was injured when one of the missile fragments hit her in the leg.

At the time there was speculation that the drone was Russian.

A report released today in Haaretz says that according to the Israeli Defense Ministry, Russia admitted the drone was theirs and it entered Israeli air space due to human error.

Russia’s admission may explain how, despite three attempts, Israel “missed” knocking down the drone, as Israel wanted to send a message to Russia to stop the overflight, but not cause an international incident by actually knocking the drone down.

The infiltration happened soon after Turkey shot down a Russian plane near the Syrian Turkey, raising tension even higher between those two countries.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-admits-that-drone-was-theirs/2016/08/07/

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