Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

General Information

The Skylark is a miniature UAV made by Elbit. It is designed as a manpacked system for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance. The Skylark is launched by hand. The payload consists of a daylight CCD or optional FLIR for night operations. During operation, it sends real-time video to a portable ground station. Recovery involves a deep stall maneuver, landing on a small inflatable cushion. It has a range of 20/40/60/100 km, depending on the variation.

The Skylark is in operation with the militaries of Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden. It has been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Skylark I has also been selected by France’s Special Forces in 2008. Previous operators, who have now retired the system, include Australia and Canada. In total, it has been selected by more than 20 operators worldwide.[1]Drone Center, Bard, Drone Database.

In 2021 Syklark drones were sighted at a Zambian Army Parade.[2]Israel Defense : Skylark in Zambia In February 2022 Elbit unveiled the new version of its Skylark 3 STUAS equipped with a hybrid propulsion system at the Singapore Airshow 2022.[3]Defense Update : Syklark 3 at Singapore arms fair.

Variations: Skylark 1, Skylark I-LE, Skylark II, Skylark II-LE, Skylark III


Photo by: Elbit Systems


Use by Israeli forces

Skylark is operational in Israel since 2010 under the Hebrew name “Rochev Shamaim” (Skyrider). “Protective Edge” Operation in Gaza marked the first time it was used in quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces.[4]Makor Rishon : SkyLark

It was operated by the artillery corps. It was also used during military operations of house arrests in the occupied West Bank. The Skylark was used during the so-called “Brothers come home” Israeli attacks in June and July 2014, where scores of Palestinian civilians were arbitrarily arrested.[5]Who Profits : Skylark

Israeli media routinely reports of the crashing of  Elbit ’s Skylark UAVs during intelligence gathering operations in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Syria[6]israel hayom : Skylark crashes in Syria.

The skylark was used during Israel’s operation “Guardian of the Walls” in Gaza in May 2021. Reportedly, during the 11 days of operation in Gaza, the Iron Dome intercepted a Skylark drone from the “Sky Rider” unit, that carries out observation and intelligence gathering missions.[7]Haaretz : Skylark in Gaza

In May 2022, a Skylark drone, operated by the Israeli Army was found by the Lebanese army near the town of Ayta Ash Shab, after crashing.[8]Time of Israel : Skylark crashes in Lebanon. Also in May 2022, it was reported that the Skylark was used widely by the Israeli Army in a military operation in the West Bank, among others in Jenin, called “Breaking Waves” [9]Kan11 : Skylark in the West Bank.

In August 2022, the Skylark was reportedly used in the Israeli military operation “Breaking Dawn” on Gaza.[10]Srugim : Photo of Skylark by IDF Spokesperson [11]Israel Defense : Skylark in Gaza 2022.

In October 2022, Skylark drones were used in military operations in Nablus. One drone crashed in the city during a surveillance mission.[12]Skylark drone crashed in Nablus In January 2023 another Skylark drone crashed in the West Bank during a military surveillance operation.[13]Small IDF drone crashes in northern West Bank, cause unknown