New ELBIT Skylark 3 Hybrid UAS

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Elbit Systems unveiled today a new version of its Skylark 3 Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Systems (STUAS) equipped with a hybrid propulsion system. As the classic Skylark 3, the drone is a covert operation UAS.

The Skylark 3 Hybrid tactical mini UAS delivers ISTAR capabilities (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) to the division and brigade levels.

The solution is based on the battle-proven Skylark™ family, with over 30 international customers and more than 100,000 operational flight hours. The Skylark 3 Hybrid features a new hybrid propulsion system, electric and internal combustion, which dramatically improves mission reliability, redundancy and performance while demonstrating an extra layer of safety.

The system is designed for operations in harsh conditions and capable of operation for up to 20 hours. Skylark 3 Hybrid is a covert operation UAS, innovatively designed for fast arrival to the Area Of Interest (combustion engine) while operating in the area of interest in a silent mode (electrical engine) can be activated. It enables the combination of long endurance operation while providing real-time, day and night intelligence.

Skylark 3 Hybrid high resolution, gimbaled and stabilized dual EO/IR payload system provides advanced mission capabilities to facilitate a wide range of operations and applications including:

  • ISTAR missions
  • Force and convoy protection
  • Strategic infrastructure protection
  • Search and Rescue
  • Border patrol
  • Security operations

Key features:

  • Real propulsion redundancy – the air vehicle consists of two engines, while one backs up the other to enable maximum reliability and safety capabilities
  • Covert operation – the hybrid propelled air vehicle can fly and operate in the Area Of Interest in silent mode (electrical motor) – designed for covert missions
  • Dual payload – high-resolution EO/IR gimbaled payload (a wide array of payloads, including EO/IR, Video analytics, ELINT, COMINT and more)
  • Advanced mission features – ground stations handover, areal hot-swap and remote video terminals
  • Simple to operate – fully autonomous from takeoff to landing• Runway independent – does not require any infrastructure for takeoff and landing
  • Rapid deployment – designed for easy setup in the field with a minimal crew

The higher endurance of the Skylark 3 Hybrid increases the drone’s loitering time above AOI thus requiring fewer platforms per mission. Two Skylark 3 Hybrid STUAS can be assigned to the same mission simultaneously managed by a shared ground control station. The drone is operated by a crew of two, it is launched via a pneumatic launcher that can be mounted on a vehicle or vessel. The Skylark 3 is retrieved by parachute at a pre-designated landing area.

Skylark 3 small tactical UAS is designed for operation as an organic ISR asset by the tactical land forces (brigades and above). launched from a catapult and retrieved by parachute. Photo: Elbit Systems

Skylark 3 Hybrid has a 4.7m wingspan, a maximum takeoff weight of 50kg, a service ceiling of 12,000ft, and a range of 120km. It features dual payload capacity with a “plug&play” interface for a quick replacement of sensors in the field. The Skylark 3 Hybrid is capable of integrating a range of payloads including high-resolution Electro-Optical gimbaled payload, ELINT, COMINT, and laser designators, among others.

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