JERUSALEM, Israel (BulgarianMilitary.com) – The “Air Force” of the Israeli defence forces (IDF) ground forces is being built in a growing pace, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. In the meantime the Sky Rider UAS unit of the Israeli artillery corps, is now performing services for many other branches of the IDF and that has resulted in the acquisition of additional systems and payloads. “We are getting more systems and new advanced payloads” says the deputy commander of the unit.
The Sky Rider unit operates the Elbit systems Skylark UAS which is a man packed system for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance. The Skylark is launched by hand. The payload consists of a day CCD or optional FLIR for night operations.
Israeli Soldiers operating a small reconnaissance drone “Elbit Skylark” near the Gaza border https://t.co/Pl2scQg5pN— Joseph Fischer (@Jofischer007) 12 януари 2019 г.
Recovery involves a deep stall maneuver, landing on a small inflatable cushion. It has a range of up to 40 km.
The IDF ground forces in recent years has received the improved version of this UAV – the Skylark 1LE.
The endurance has been stretched to 3 hours and the operational ceiling is 15.000 feet.
The wing span of the improved version is 3 meters. The takeoff weight of the improved version is 7 kgs.
According to Major N. deputy commander of the Sky Rider unit the capabilities of the SkyLark have been improved to answer the growing demand from other branches of the IDF “We now have direct data links with manned aircraft and that allows to hit targets very fast after detection”
He revealed that the unit is now serving the IDF commando unit.
The growing demand has accelerated the absorption process of the SkyLark 3, the bigger more capable version of this UAV.
Last year the SkyLark 3 gained full operational status by participating in some major IDF drills.
The Sky Lark -3 serves the brigade commander level of command.
Based on the technology developed for the existing Skylark versions the Skylark – 3 has a range of over 100 km, flight endurance of up to 6 hours, a max takeoff weight of 40 kgs and payload capacity of up to 10 kg.
The Skylark-3 is launched by a pneumatic launcher, mounted either on the ground or on a vehicle.
The Skylark-3 is powered by an electric motor which reduces sound signature and enables operating over long distances and at high altitudes, has a 4.7 m wingspan and has a service ceiling of 15,000 ft.
According to Elbit, to support interoperability by using a shared GCS, two Skylark 3 vehicles can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously.
The introduction of the SkyLark-3 into service is part of a major plan to give ground forces the flexibility of operating their UAS without the need to coordinate the operations with the air force, that is operating the larger platforms.
This situation is temporary. The IDF ground forces are demanding and getting more UAS for their missions- intelligence gathering, cargo delivery to combat zones and loitering weapons systems.
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