Small drone and missile network allows for quick strikes.

Author:Erwin, Sandra I.

Army officials are considering deploying small man-portable drones that can not only locate targets but also send, within seconds, precise coordinates of the targets to a missile launcher located five miles away.

The technology was first used by Israel's military forces to strike Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon last year, and recently garnered attention from U.S. military officials.

The U.S. Army has deployed hundreds of small unmanned aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, but those aircraft are not connected to any weapons. When soldiers operating the UAV find a target, they call for close air support in the form of tactical jets or armed helicopters.

Israel's small UAV, built by Rafael Armaments Development Authority Ltd., is a 13-pound remote-controlled aircraft that is equipped with day and night sensors. The aircraft, called SkyLite B, in itself is not a remarkable technology. The innovation comes in the way all the pieces of the network work...

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