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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

16 August 2016

Elbit Systems Introduces SKYLARK C Mini UAS for Tactical Maritime Applications

Elbit Systems has developed SKYLARK C, a new highly autonomous Mini Unmanned Aircraft System (MUAS) specifically designed and built for maritime applications. Based on the SKYLARK I MUAS, which are fully operational and in use by dozens of customers around the world, the new SKYLARK C transforms and extends the operational capabilities of its land-based counterpart into an organic maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) asset.

Mission effective, with highly autonomous flight capability, SKYLARK C incorporates an electrically-propelled air vehicle with a very low visual and acoustic signature, making it an ideal solution for covert operations such as special naval operations, border security, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations. (Photos: Elbit Systems)

As a maritime vessel organic asset, SKYLARK C provides the capabilities to inspect maritime activities from a safe distance, observe targets from a bird’s eye view, perform reconnaissance over coastal areas and perform continuous covert surveillance, thus extending the vessel’s ISR capabilities with respect to range, rate and quality of information obtained.

The aerial vehicle utilises Elbit Systems’ UAS technology and know-how, featuring an advanced inertial navigation system (INS) and a stabilised electro-optical (EO) payload with a high resolution thermal imager and color daylight camera that enables continuous day/night monitoring in diverse weather conditions.

Until recently, the ability to achieve real-time maritime situational awareness and ISTAR capabilities in a short period of time and with minimal resources remained a significant gap,” Elad Aharonson, General Manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR Division, said. “Now, with Skylark C, small-scale naval crews, such as special operations forces and coast guard patrols, can capture mission-critical information using a truly intuitive and organic system, and as a result significantly improve their operational effectiveness.”

The system features a waterproof and floating air vehicle that provides even small vessels an organic offboard surveillance capability that can be deployed and retrieved in less than 15 minutes.