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Subject Israel Rolls Out Legion-X Drone Swarm For The Urban Battlefield
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Original Message Israel is converting elite infantry support companies into “seek and strike” units equipped with swarming drones to search buildings and carry out attacks. The swarm is powered by Legion-X, an “autonomous networked combat solution” developed by leading defense contractor Elbit Systems and works in close collaboration with human soldiers. Israel used swarming drones in action in 2021, making it the first nation to do so, but Legion-X is a step-change for locating and destroying targets in cluttered, built-up areas. And it is being rolled out now.

The Iranian-supplied Shahed-136 kamikaze drones which Russia is raining down on Ukraine are often described as swarming drones, but this is not quite correct. Although the drones are launched in groups, enough so that some get through even though most are shot down, the drones do not exchange information or co-ordinate their movements like a true swarm. A true swarm involves multiple drones working together as a single, coherent entity, so the whole thing can be directed by one human operator – or let off the leash altogether. Many militaries are working on this technology including the U.S., China, the U.K., India and Turkey, but with Legion-X, Israel has taken the lead.

This comes as no great surprise. Israel has always been at the forefront of military drone innovation, and in 2021 used swarming drones in operations in Gaza. Mortar support companies were re-equipped with swarm drones which reportedly gathered intelligence, located targets and carried out attacks on Hamas forces. It also provided targeting information for guided mortar weapons and carried out more than 30 “successful operations” against militants attempting to launch rockets at Israel.

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