The Israeli Defense Forces are looking at acquiring a drone with a punch, according to news outlet Defense One. Per an article of their website, the IDF is looking at the TIKAD from Duke Robotics; a lightweight aerial drone that is able to be equipped with a variety of small weapons, from the familiar AR-15, to machine guns or grenade launchers. What makes the TIKAD most notable is its size: Much closer to the handheld drones of hobbyists than the high-flying Predators of the military, the TIKAD is one of a slew of innovative new unmanned systems that are small and light enough for motorized or light infantry to take with them to the battlefield.
The TIKAD’s gimballed gun cradle. Image source: Duke Robotics
The TIKAD is remotely operated by a soldier on the ground, not a true “autonomous” vehicle. In this way, it is closer to a flying remote weapons station than a true armed robot.
One of the primary obstacles to arming aerial vehicles as light as this is managing recoil. To surmount this, the TIKAD uses a sophisticated recoil-absorbing gimbal to steady the helicopter drone as the gun fires, which in theory allows accurate, rapid fire with both semiautomatic and fully automatic weapons. The TIKAD drone is also larger than previous armed drone demonstrators, allowing it to not only carry heavier payloads – up to 22 pounds – but to stay airborne much longer