Elbit Systems has added an Unmanned Aerial System capability to the Seagull Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV), broadening surveillance and intelligence gathering capabilities of the unmanned boat.
Trials conducted in recent weeks were dedicated to the integration of Elbit Systems’ Skylark C mini-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), onboard the Seagull USV, further enhancing its intelligence-gathering capabilities.
The Seagull USV incorporates the Skylark C, a maritime drone based on the Skylark mini-UAS.
Skylark C was unveiled in 2016 as an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance asset.
As an electrically propelled drone with low visual and acoustic signature including anti-submarine warfare and mine countermeasures, the company advertised it as ideal for covert operations and special naval operations, such as anti-piracy missions.
The Skylark C is designed for fully autonomous operation, from launch to recovery. The drone is launched automatically by catapult from the USV, and recovers by parachute at a Point Water Recovery (PWR), where it is retrieved by a support vessel. recovery and a takeoff weight of up to 15kg.
The drone’s electrical propulsion sustains missions up to five hours, at a ceiling of 15,000 ft, and a range of 40 km from the launch vessel. Upon retrieval, UAVs use ‘hot-swap’ batteries to prepare and continue mission operation.
The visual feed generated by the mini-UAS can be transmitted via the SeaGull communications channel to the Combat Management System (CMS) on other vessels, or the land-based command and control unit.
Elbit demonstrated the Seagull — without the UAV capability — to the British Defence Ministry last month.
This concept of integrating UAVs with existing technology is part of a trend across Israel. Elbit has incorporated its MAGNI micro-drone onto vehicles and is selling large numbers of small and medium-sized UAVs to countries that want to integrate them throughout ground forces.
About Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems Ltd. is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs throughout the world.
The Company, which includes Elbit Systems and its subsidiaries, operates in the areas of aerospace, land and naval systems, command, control, communications, computers, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (“C4ISR”), unmanned aircraft systems, advanced electro-optics, electro-optic space systems, EW suites, signal intelligence systems, data links and communications systems, radios, cyber-based systems and munitions.
The Company also focuses on the upgrading of existing platforms, developing new technologies for defense, homeland security and commercial applications and providing a range of support services, including training and simulation systems.