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GD And Elbit Conduct First US Demo Of UAS For US Armed Forces

The Skylark II system features the lightweight, state-of-the-art Micro-CoMPASS electro-optic surveillance payload, which provides a laser target illuminator and a cooled thermal imager with exceptionally high resolution. This fully-integrated, gimbaled payload provides the warfighter a blend of sensor capabilities in a form, fit and function that is effective in any lighting condition.
by Staff Writers
Charlotte NC (SPX) May 02, 2008
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and Elbit Systems of America recently conducted the first U.S. demonstration of the Skylark II Small Tactical /Tier II-class Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) for representatives of the U.S. armed forces. The event was held at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.

The Skylark II UAS provides a covert, silent electric-propulsion system for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions and target tracking, making it unique among Tier II-class platforms. The air vehicle is virtually inaudible at 500 feet Above Ground Level (AGL), enabling persistent ISR coverage for use in areas previously inaccessible to other air vehicles that have higher noise signatures or lower endurance capabilities.

This battalion-level system fills the capabilities gap that exists between the small, company/platoon-level unmanned systems and the tactical, brigade-level UASs that are currently available.

"The Skylark II system's operating characteristics fulfill unmet needs for a small unmanned aerial system with low-manpower, high-endurance covert capabilities suited to harsh environments where there is limited logistical infrastructure," said Phil Hynes, vice president of strategic planning for General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products. "To warfighters in theater, that means that the enemy does not know they are being watched."

The Skylark II system features the lightweight, state-of-the-art Micro-CoMPASS electro-optic surveillance payload, which provides a laser target illuminator and a cooled thermal imager with exceptionally high resolution. This fully-integrated, gimbaled payload provides the warfighter a blend of sensor capabilities in a form, fit and function that is effective in any lighting condition.

A fly-by-camera interface/flight mode, combined with the Micro-CoMPASS payload, makes the Skylark II system a force multiplier by allowing a single operator to both fly the aircraft and operate the sensor suite. The end product is outstanding imagery that helps 'paint the picture' for combatant commanders and intelligence officers.

Design of the Skylark II system is based on the extensive operational experience gained from a family of Elbit UAS systems during the recent Lebanese War with the Israeli Defense Forces and currently employed by coalition forces supporting Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. This system, like many others in its modular family, offers the U.S. military a variety of unique, operationally-validated solutions for current and emerging requirements.

"The effectiveness and reliability of the Elbit's UAS family has been proven by over 100,000 flight hours," said Raanan Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems of America. "We are pleased to partner with General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and provide the U.S. warfighter with this operational capability."

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Become More Sophisticated
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Apr 30, 2008
An Israeli-made Hermes-450 unmanned aerial vehicle owned by Georgia was shot down over Abkhazia on April 21, aggravating regional tensions. While politicians try to sort the issue out, it is easy to forget the technical aspects of the problem, but they deserve some attention.







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