Drone news updates December 2020

The fall of 2020 has been a time of increasing drone news. In the wake of the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict it became clear how drones can transform a war as a strategic and tactical weapon. Offering a kind of “instant air force,” they are an important investment for militaries. The question militaries must ask is what mix of drones they need and also what kinds of air defense they need.

The UK, in the wake of the Azerbaijan conflict, has said it wants smaller armed drones.

  • In mid December Israel held a multi-layered integrated air defense drill showing off Iron Dome, David’s Sling and potential Arrow capabilities against ballistic, cruise missiles and also drones. This is likely a response in part to the Abqaiq attack last year. It shows how air defense must become practiced in stopping drone threats.
  • Turkey used a loitering munition in Kobane.
  • A list of Turkish drones.
  • Afghan commanders shoot down a drone – December 21.
  • Increasing reports of Taliban using drones – December 23.
  • Turkey uses drones in airstrikes in Iraq – December 24.
  • Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba in Iraq threatens to use drones against US forces in Iraq – December 25. Others think this is “fiction.”
  • Russia “has launched serial production of new 9M333 guided missiles ‘designed to defeat low-flying aircrafts & helicopters as well as remotely piloted aircraft and cruise missiles.”
  • Russia shows off Orion UAV.
  • Drone shows up in imagery and drills of Hamas and other Gaza factions – December 29. Photos.
  • Russia virtual reality used to fly drones.
  • Check out a dancing robot and what it means for unmanned warfare.
  • US to allow drones to fly at night.
  • Battlefields of 2020 were “testing ground” for drones.
  • The Saudi-led Arab coalition announced the destruction and downing of a drone launched by the Houthi militia to target Al-Masheeq Palace in the city of Aden – December 30.
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems on a robot dog during a recent demo (Courtesy Rafael)

Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems also showed off its INDOOR program using AI and sensors to send unmanned vehicles into an urban environment to map rooms and send data back to digitized ground forces using its combined technology of sensors and automatic target recognition.

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