Elbit’s Skylark-I mini-UAV has become a popular choice for portable “over the hill” surveillance, as nations like Israel, Australia, Canada, France, Mexico, Poland, Sweden, et. al. adopt it for battlefield use. Bental’s electric propulsion system using brushless permanent magnetic motors is an especial benefit to Skylark operators, as its silent operation avoids warning enemy targets of its presence.
In an effort to build on that success, Elbit soon introduced the larger Skylark-II for battalion level UAV operations, fired from a rail launcher mounted on small wheeled vehicles rather than launched by hand. In exchange for the launcher requirement and a doubling of the crew size to 2, the Skylark-II gains a mission radius of 50-60 km instead of 10 km, and the ability to mount larger sensor packages. Awards soon followed from sources as varied as Popular Science and industry analysts Frost & Sullivan – but awards don’t pay the bills. Fortunately, orders have followed.