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by Curtis Hand, images from Aeronautics Group unless otherwise noted

Photo: ShreyashiOnline

While the coffee is brewing in a machine for someone’s cup somewhere, Maritime Security & Defence (MSD) magazine had a rare opportunity to catch up with and interview Mr Matan Perry, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development at Aeronautics Group. We wanted to have benefit of Aeronautics’ unique perspectives after nearly a quarter of a century of innovation, this interview focuses on lessons the rather ubiquitous Aeronautics “learned from” or “taught to” the world.

Mr Matan Perry

The naval battle space and maritime security arena are not one dimensional – anything sea-related has always included what is happening underwater, ashore and in the sky since the days of the first mariners. So, Matan Perry (photo, right), made time for us in this exclusive interview and laid out some home truths for us to share and ponder over.

MSD: How have unmanned aerial systems improved efficacy in the multi-dimensional battlespace in terms of their role?
Matan Perry (Perry): The goal of any armed force in combat is to be able to neutralise any force. In order to do so your forces must have effective “intelligence – impact” cycle. The intelligence should be able to Detect and Recognise targets and to Identify them as valid enemy targets (DRI). The other side of the cycle is the “impact” which means – what are you going to do with the target once you determine it. It can be kinetic impact (for example fire arms, missile, etc.) or any other impacts such as; cyber, jamming, etc.
The classical mission of unmanned aerial systems is the ability to gather intelligence better than any other platform with no risk to the operating forces. Furthermore, today we able to witness that UAS are entering to more domains in the battlefield, for example attack missions.
The UAVs have changed dramatically the current battlefields: they are able to find more targets than ever before, they are able to find the targets far and beyond the frontline (which decreases casualties), they are making the intelligence-impact cycle efficient (the time frame from finding the target until the impact).

Orbiter 4 XR

MSD: What role does AI have in a largely remotely controlled UAV user environment?
Perry: AI is one of the hottest technologies in recent and upcoming years that will have dramatic impact on the modern warfare.
ATR – Automatic Target Recognition and machine and deep learning enable detection and identification of numerous targets within extremely short time and allow the force to choose the most relevant targets out of all.
The combination between wide area scanning payload to AI system will enable terrain dominance, providing target detection and investigation at the same time.

MSD: What is the future of AI in unmanned aerial missions? How does this affect Aeronautics own business focus?
Perry: Aeronautics is part of RAFAEL a group of companies which are synergistic to one another; Aeronautics’ leading UAS platforms and systems integrated with RAFAEL leading sensors technologies, information processing and communications give unmatched capabilities.
One of the companies under RAFAEL group is SightX which is considered the leading company in AI technology in the defence segment.
The correlation between leading aerial platform, advanced AI technology which is embedded to the system and Rafael’s most known guided anti-tank missile (Spike) will allow to increase the number of targets the system can find and detect with the capability to choose the most important target out of all , while at the same time decreasing collateral damages

Orbiter3

MSD: What are your views on what is in store for the UAV market in 2022-23?
Perry: I assume that we would see in the near future the integration of AI into the UAV market. This advanced technology will distinguish between top manufacturers who can integrate AI into their systems from those companies that manufacture platforms alone.
In addition, I assume we will see a jump in the sensors with the entrance of additional kinds of sensors and not only EO/IR.
Aeronautics was one of the first companies worldwide to identify the advantages in tactical mobilised systems with large scale capabilities. Aeronautics’ Orbiter 4 line of products enable the users capabilities which were usually kept to MALE platforms (complete operational capabilities in tactical envelope).we have developed the leading system in the segment enabling multi payload simultaneously, operation from anywhere (not limit to runway or any permanent structure) and connected to advance “impact” systems.

Overview of Aeronautic’s portfolio