The new pilot program — led by Israel’s Directorate of Defense Research and Development and the U.S. Combating Terrorism 
Technical Support Office — is based around the Israeli company Xtend’s Skylord counter-UAV system.

The program has thus far produced a drone system with an immersive interface that protects troops from various aerial threats,
according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense. A user can wear goggles to see through the lens of the drone, and using a hand-held
controller, can then fly the drone to observe a threat and use the drone’s hard kill ability to knock down the UAV threat.

“Using an augmented reality (AR) device and single-handed controller, a military operator may employ the … system to
control the drone and perform complex tasks remotely, with great ease and precision. Its interface enables the operator
to immerse themselves or ‘step into’ a remote reality and engage targets effectively yet safely,” according to a statement
from Xtend. “The system’s capabilities have been demonstrated in Israel, with confirmed interceptions of incendiary
devices flown over the Gaza border by terrorist organizations.”

Xtend, an Israeli startup, uses augmented reality from the world of computer gaming and applies it to drone solutions,
including countering UAV threats. It received support from an accelerator initiative supported by Tel Aviv University and
the Israeli Security Agency, media outlet Calcalist reported in 2018.

As part of the pilot program, several dozen Skylord systems will be employed by U.S. troops, the MoD said.

Over the last several years Israel has faced increasing threats from small commercial drones and incendiary balloons
launched by militants in the Gaza Strip. Landau said this technology proved successful at overcoming the gaps and
difficulties inherent in trying to stop these threats. The project moved forward with American support, as the country
 was looking for a solution to such threats.

Landau indicated that each party involved has its own challenges. For Israel, it is evaluating the system and testing how
best to operate the new technology, including whether it should ruggedize the system to meet higher military specifications.

Landau noted that as some solutions are vulnerable to electronic warfare technology such as jamming, countering threats
with “kinetic solutions” is needed. Xtend’s system enables the user to fly the drone into the incoming threat. This requires
detection, either visually by the unit in the field or using guidance from a command-and-control system. The goal is to hand
over to the machine as much of the job as possible — including piloting the drone while the human user makes decisions.

The U.S. and Israel will individually decide what approach works best for their respective forces, Landau explained.

Israel’s MoD said in a news release that this operational pilot program is the first step towards the widespread deployment
of Israeli smart systems to U.S. military forces, enabling them to perform complex tasks in the modern battlefield while
minimizing risk. “It is also one of the most significant and successful areas of cooperation between the DDR&D and its
American partners, highlighting the crucial and extraordinary relations between our respective defense establishments,”
the ministry said added.

Details on how many systems might be eventually acquired or potential sales figures were not provided.

Skylord is one of a plethora of systems developed in Israel to counter UAV threats. Other efforts include Elbit Systems’
ReDrone, Israel Aerospace Industries’ Drone Guard, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems’ Drone Dome and D-Fend Solutions’
EnforceAir. D-Fend Solutions is also working with the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office, which has taken an
interest in Israeli startups in recent years. Israeli-made Smart Shooter was chosen by the U.S. Army as a counter-UAV
solution in June.

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act supported U.S.-Israel cooperation on counter-UAV solutions, similar to larger
joint programs that support air defense systems such as Iron Dome. There has also been increasing support for sharing
research and development findings between the two allies.