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Abraham Karem (Arabic: أبراهام كارم) is an aerospace engineer who is a pioneer in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.

Abraham Karem
BornJune 27, 1937 (1937-06-27) (age 81)
Alma materTechnion – Israel Institute of Technology
Known forPredator (Drone)
TitleFounder of Karem Aircraft

Early life and careerEdit

Abraham Karem was born in Baghdad on June 27, 1937, to a Jewish couple. His family moved to Israel in 1951, where he grew up. Since an early age, he had an innate passion for aeronautics, and at the age of 14, he started building model aircraft. Karem is regarded as the founding father of UAV (drone) technology. He graduated in aeronautical engineering from Technion. He built his first drone during the Yom Kippur war for the Israeli Air Force. In the 1970s, he immigrated to the United States. He founded Leading Systems Inc. in his home garage, where he started manufacturing his first drone, Albatross, and later on, the more sophisticated Amber, which eventually evolved into the famous Predator drone, which brought him the title of "dronefather".[1]

Karem has been described by The Economist magazine as the man who "created the robotic plane that transformed the way modern warfare is waged and continues to pioneer other airborne innovations".[1] Leading Systems has since gone bankrupt and was bought up by the US defense contractor General Atomics, which employed Karem and his team for the development of highly endurable UAV. The new development resulted in the creation of Predator, based on previous model Amber.[2]


  1. ^ a b "The dronefather". The Economist. The Economist Newspaper Limited. December 1, 2012. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Steve Coll, Ghost Wars (Penguin, 2005 edition), pp. 527-8 and 658 note 5.