WASP: How Israel's new surveillance network tracks & locks moving targets


 | Updated: Feb 11, 2021, 12:39 PM IST

Israel's WASP complies with a wide range of aerial platforms such as tactical UAVs, drones, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft or tethered surveillance balloons.

Israel's WASP drone

Israel unveiled a new type of cutting-edge, surveillance technology called the WASP(Wide Area Surveillance Payload) meant for ariel 
surveillance. The advanced system can be attached to UAVs. 

Israel Aerospace Industries(IAI) which is the country's major aerospace and aviation manufacturer stated that the WASP allows reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering fusing all capabilities simultaneously.

WASP ensures surveillance over a wide area and locks on to moving targets using algorithms. It can undertake missions day and night and can target potential interest areas, moving beyond just human surveillance in a drone.


Israel's WASP drone

Utilizing state-of-the-art EO and IR sensors, AI algorithms and adaptive rule engines, the system captures large areas in high revisit rate, to track, identify and alert the system operator of moving targets that correlate with mission requirements and objectives. 

WASP complies with a wide range of aerial platforms such as tactical UAVs, drones, fixed and rotary-wing aircraft or tethered surveillance balloons.


Israel drone

WASP’s coverage area and resolution change according to its platform and operating altitude. 

Mounted on a tactical UAV such as the BirdEye 650D, WASP covers 2 square kilometres in optimal resolution to detect all types of moving targets.

When mounted on a male UAV such as the Heron 1, the coverage area expands over 15 square kilometres to detect mostly vehicle size objects and the like.


Israel's WASP

“The development of WASP exemplifies IAI’s novel strategy to ISR systems development, intelligence and information fusion capabilities," Moshe Levy, IAI's executive vice president said.

"By providing a highly detailed intelligence picture in a wide area, WASP provides excellent two-layer situational awareness that comprises both visual and intelligence information," Levy added.

"As a compact and light system, it can be mounted on a range of platforms to provide strong intelligence capabilities already on the tactical level,” he said.


Israel drone industry's secret weapon

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.

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.


Global force in multibillion dollar UAV industry

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.


USP: Enemies at its border

It trades on its unique selling point: enemies at its borders and therefore plenty of opportunities to test and fine-tune its UAVs.

Ronen Nadir was a military commander specialising in missile development before establishing his company, BlueBird Aero Systems.

It sells combat drones across the globe, including the WanderB VTol that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter, but has wings to improve speed.

These drones can take off and land in a town, a jungle or the deck of a boat.

"You will not believe it, but it took only four and a half months" from the first concept, scribbled on paper," until this UAV was demonstrated to the first customer," Nadir said.

Hundreds have been sold since October 2018, he added.


India's military relationship with Israel and The United States

India's geopolitical exigencies are well known with Indian forces almost engaged in "two fronts" along the border with Pakistan and China.

India not only has to look at its offensive capabilities, but it has to also deeply strategise its defensive needs.

With Indo-Pacific becoming vital for India's interests, a military relationship with Israel & the United States will help Indian forces to ensure balance in Asia.