Saraya Al-Quds a Gaza-based Palestinian militant group has released footage showing aerial bombardment by low-end drones on Israeli Merkava IV tank.
The video, which was first broadcasted by the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV in the noon of May 30, shows an armed drone targeting a Merkava IV main battle tank and an Achzarit armored personnel carrier (APC) of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The attack occurred during the recent Gaza–Israel clashes.
The footage, which starts with the words ‘what the enemy has kept silent about,’ shows two different attacks, bombs are dropped from an unmanned aerial vehicle onto two Merkava IV model tanks.
Militant group using commercial remote-controlled aircraft, referred to as drones, to attack Israel Defense Forces armored vehicles stationed on the Gaza border.
In the second attack, a drone hovers over a tank. It stays static, while text in the right-hand corner of the video says ‘waiting for the soldiers to leave,’ before dropping a makeshift bomb on the tank.
In the video, you can see an initial attack on a Merkava IV tank with one Israeli Soldier climbing aboard the vehicle at the time of the IED being dropped.
The explosive device itself doesn’t appear like it will have a significant impact on an armoured vehicle like a tank, but within the blast radius of people it would do damage for sure
Re-watching the video you can see an initial attack on a #IDF Merkava IV tank with one #IDF soldier climbing aboard the vehicle at the time of the IED being dropped. #Gaza #Israel pic.twitter.com/cjiay49qU2
— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) May 30, 2019
The drone used in the attack appears to be a small-size quadcopter, similar to the famous DJI Phantom. The drone dropped small projectiles, similar to submunitions usually used in cluster rockets and bombs.
ISIS was the first to arm commercially bought drones and use them in combat. The battle of Mosul in Iraq witnessed extensive use of such drones with the Iraqi military losing several vehicles to drone attacks.
The accuracy of the armed drone used by the al-Quds Brigades appears to be poor. However, the acquisition of such weapon remains a threat to the Israeli military, especially that it can be improved.
According to information released with the video, the attack was carried out during the last round of fighting between Palestinians and Israeli forces during the week before the Eurovision.
The weaponizing of these increasingly prevalent and cheap hobbyist drones has been warned about for years by many military experts and analysts.
The modern combat vehicles need a new system to detect and help defeat any small drones that threaten the vehicle.
The Merkava is a main battle tank used by the Israel Defense Forces. The Mark IV is the most recent variant of the Merkava tank that has been in development since 1999 and production since 2004.
Al-Quds Brigades is the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)