Elbit unveils upgraded drone designed to send visual intelligence to ground forces

Neither Elbit nor the Defense Ministry would comment on whether Israel plans to acquire the latest platform.

February 11, 2016 00:14
1 minute read.

ELBIT ANNOUNCED yesterday the arrival of an upgraded drone called the Skylark 3 that delivers over-the-next-hill visual intelligence. It’s from the same family of UAVs that currently helps IDF units.. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Elbit Systems announced on Wednesday the arrival of an upgraded tactical drone, which belongs to the same family of UA Vs that currently serve IDF ground units on a daily basis.

Neither Elbit nor the Defense Ministry would comment on whether Israel plans to acquire the latest platform, but Elbit said the new system has “already been selected by an undisclosed customer.”

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The Skylark 3 is designed to supply ground commanders with visual intelligence, and assist in the surveillance and reconnaissance of areas near the units in operation.

The autonomous mini-UA V is “best suited for brigades and divisions, and delivers over-the-nexthill visual intelligence that enables ground units to protect themselves.

The IDF uses Syklarks 1 and 2 for daily security missions along borders, as well as for counter-terrorism missions in the West Bank.

Skylark 3 has a much larger range of 100 kilometers, and a flight endurance of up to six hours, Elbit said.

While its predecessors are launched by soldiers with the help of a mobile catapult, Skylark 3 uses a pneumatic launcher to become airborne, which is mounted on the ground or on a vehicle.

Elbit said the new platform has better target detection and classification payloads, via electo-optical and infrared cameras and photos. It can fly to up to 15,000 feet.

“Through a shared ground control station, two Skylark 3 vehicles can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously, meaning a consistent target acquisition is maintained from two aspects,” the defense company said.

Elad Aharonson, general manager of Elbit Systems’ ISTAR Division, said Skylark 3 “provides ground force commanders unrivaled situational awareness and enhanced force protection capabilities, ultimately allowing them to make faster, smarter and more cost-effective decisions.”

Currently, the IDF Ground Forces can deploy the Skylark drones and the Hermes 450 platform, also made by Elbit. Both are deployed by the Artillery Corps.

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