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Israel's drone industry becomes global force

Israels drone industry becomes global force
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Airport City: In a fierce battle for market share against world superpowers China and the United States, Israel's drone industry likes to say it has a secret weapon -- military experience.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used daily by Israel's military in and around its borders, whether dropping tear-gas canisters on Palestinian demonstrators, monitoring Hezbollah positions in Lebanon or striking Islamic Jihad bases in Gaza.

The senior echelons of the country's industry are populated by former military and intelligence officials, many of whom became founders or engineers in local startups.

Israel's first rudimentary drone dates back to 1969: it was a remote-controlled plane with an attached camera to spy on neighbouring rival Egypt.

Drones became more common, though not much more technically advanced, during the war in Lebanon from 1978.

But half a century later, tiny Israel is now a global force in the multibillion-dollar UAV industry, competing against China and the US.

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