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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

10 February 2016

Elbit Systems Introduces SKYLARK 3 Mini-UAS

Elbit Systems has developed the SKYLARK 3, a new autonomous mini-Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), best suited for brigades and divisions in “beyond the next hill” reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, and force protection missions, as well as for use in a range of civil applications, such as border and coastal security and anti-terror operations. The new system has already been selected by an undisclosed customer.

Launched via a pneumatic launcher, mounted either on the ground or on a vehicle, Elbit Systems' SKYLARK 3 offers upgrades such as improved payloads with better target detection, classification and surveillance capabilities. These deliver Electro Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) video and photographic imaging in both day and night operations and in adverse field conditions. (Photo: Elbit System)

Leveraging the proven technology and operational experience of the SKYLARK family of mini-UAS, SKYLARK 3 offers a wide range of system enhancements, including a significantly larger range (more than 100km), flight endurance (up to six hours) and payload capacity (up to 10kg).

The aerial vehicle incorporates an electric motor that reduces sound signature and enables operating over long distances and at high altitudes, has a 4.8m wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 45 kilogrammes. It has a service ceiling of 15,000 feet.

To support interoperability, SKYLARK 3 uses the same advanced technologies and know-how found in other Elbit Systems’ UAS. In addition, through a shared Ground Control Station (GCS), two SKYLARK 3 vehicles can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously, meaning a consistent target acquisition is maintained from two aspects. This also offers ground forces the ability to significantly extend the flight endurance of their mission by UAS hot-swap.

"SKYLARK 3, the latest addition to our family of ultra-lightweight UAS, delivers brigade-level and division-level units, an ideal solution for carrying out complex ISTAR missions in a truly organic network-centric manner," Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, commented. "Its easy launch, autonomous maneuverability and control, coupled with its cutting-edge payload technology, provide ground force commanders unrivaled situational awareness and enhanced force protection capabilities, ultimately allowing them to make faster, smarter and more cost-effective decisions."

Designed for brigade-level and division-level units, Elbit Systems' SKYLARK 3 mini-UAS delivers ground commanders organic intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities – both easily and affordable. (Photo: Elbit Systems)
SKYLARK 3 will make its first appearance at the Elbit Systems’ booth (N65) at the Singapore Airshow 2016, set to take place 16-21 February 2016.