US-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are using a miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by Israel, the campany that produces the devide said in a statement released ahead an upcoming air show in Australia.. Elbit, one of Israel’s leading defense electronics companies, said the mini-UAV, known as the Skylark, is operational “and currently deployed in the global war on terror in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan.” There was no confirmation from US military on the statement.
Designed for “close range, beyond-the-next hill, counter-terror missions,” the Skylark can be operated by a single soldier, covering a range of seven miles day or night, said the company. According to the statement, the Skylark can be used for both military and homeland security applications. During last summer’s war in Lebanon, Skylark mini-UAVs were operated by IDF units in reconnaissance missions in support of the ground forces. The company said that due to their low acoustic and visual signatures, Skylarks were able to operate at very low altitude practically undetectable. In 2005 the Australian Ministry of Defense selected the Skylark to support the deployment of Australian forces in Iraq. (Israel21c, March 21)