General Dynamics, Elbit Systems of America demonstrate unmanned aerial system for U.S. armed forces

CHARLOTTE, N.C., 1 May 2008. General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and Elbit Systems of America LLC, 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 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," says 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 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 enables a single operator to both fly the aircraft and operate the sensor suite.


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