Skylark 3

Elbit Systems has unveiled Skylark 3, a new autonomous mini-unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for its UAS fleet.

Skylark 3’s design is based on technology incorporated in the previous Skylark series.

Elbit Systems ISTAR Division general manager Elad Aharonson said: "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.

"Its easy-launch, autonomous manoeuvrability and control, coupled with its cutting-edge payload technology, provides ground force commanders unrivalled situational awareness and enhanced force protection capabilities, ultimately allowing them to make faster, smarter and more cost-effective decisions."

The Skylark 3 UAS features a range of 100km, flight endurance of six hours, and a 10kg payload capacity, which facilitates better target detection, classification and surveillance.

The structure can be launched by a pneumatic launcher, mounted either on the ground or on a vehicle.

Skylark generates electro optical / infrared (EO/IR) video and photographic imaging, which is suitable for day and night operations, as well as hostile environments.

The vehicle’s electric motor controls noise and enables long-distance, high-altitude operations.

It has wings measuring 4.8m across, a maximum takeoff weight of 45kg, and a service ceiling of 15,000ft.

The UAS Skylark fleet uses a shared GCS, which integrates two skylarks in the same mission to pursue a common target. A UAS ‘hot-swap’ method is said to enhance flight endurance for ground force missions.

The system supports a variety of military applications, such as organic beyond-the-next-hill reconnaissance, covert aerial intelligence, force protection and counter insurgency.

Homeland security authorities can use the system for coastal area and border surveillance, anti-terror operations, perimeter security and law enforcement missions.

The Skylark 3 will be displayed at the Elbit Systems’ booth (N65) in the Singapore Airshow exhibition, which is scheduled to take place at the end of February.

Image: An image of air-borne Skylark 3. Photo: courtesy of Elbit Systems.