Skylark I/II
Skylark I Launched
Role Miniature UAV
National origin Israel
Manufacturer Elbit Systems
Introduction 2008
Primary user Israel Defense Forces
Skylark 2 closeup
Skylark 3 has a different airframe

The Elbit Systems Skylark I and Skylark II are miniature UAVs developed by Elbit Systems. Initial models of the Skylark entered service in 2008.

Design and development

Skylark I

The Skylark I is a Miniature UAV. 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 km.[citation needed]

The Skylark is in operation with the armed forces of Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Macedonia, Myanmar,[1][2][3] Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and Sweden. It has been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.[4] The Skylark I has also been selected by France's special forces (Commando Parachutiste de l'Air n° 10) in March 2008.[5][6] Previous operators who have now retired the system include Australia and Canada. In total, it has been selected by more than 20 operators worldwide.[7]

Skylark II

The Skylark II was unveiled in 2006. It has a range of 60 km and is designed to be operated by a two-person crew and to be deployed using HMMWV-class field vehicles. In December 2007, South Korea decided to purchase the Skylark II system.[8] Israel planned to bring the Skylark II into service by mid-2013.[9]

Skylark 3

In February 2016, Elbit Systems unveiled the Skylark 3 unmanned air system, revealing it had already gained selection by an undisclosed customer. The Skylark 3 is intended to support brigade and division-level units, having a 4.8 m (15.7 ft) wingspan and a maximum take-off weight of 45 kg (99 lb) with a 10 kg (22 lb) payload. It is deployed from a pneumatic launcher on the ground or mounted on a vehicle, with an operating range of more than 54 nmi (62 mi; 100 km), a service ceiling of 15,000 ft (4,600 m), and flight endurance of up to 6 hours. Two air vehicles can be operated simultaneously using a shared ground control station.[10]

Operational history

Launching a Skylark, Negev, 2013

The Skylark entered operational service in 2008, and began being used in large quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces during Operation Protective Edge which began on 8 July 2014. Every active and reserve brigade received at least two air vehicles and flew them continuously, sometimes both vehicles at the same time. By August 12, some 18 systems had flown several hundred hours, generating intelligence and streaming target-acquisition data to soldiers on the ground.[11]

On 21 December 2014, Syrian sources claimed a Skylark UAV crashed in Quneitra Governorate during a reconnaissance mission; however, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that they had no knowledge of an UAV in that area at the time. It was not clear if the UAV had crashed or was shot down but photos of the drone were released later.[12]

On 12 August 2015, Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas claimed that they had captured a Skylark I and reused it for their own missions. The drone was captured on 22 July 2015 by one of their special commando units, and technically checked to make sure it was not booby-trapped.[13][unreliable source?]

On 20 March 2017, the Syrian Defense Ministry claimed a Skylark had been shot down and captured on the outskirts of Quneitra.[14] The drone went down due to human error by the troops who were flying it, IDF officials said.[15]

During the 2023 Israel–Hamas war, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, reportedly captured at least two Skylark drones.[16][17]


Current operators

Former operators


Three-view diagram.

Skylark I

Man Packed Hand Launched Over the Hill Mini UAV[23][24]

Skylark I-LEX

Skylark I-LEX is a new generation, man-portable, electric-propelled, mini unmanned aerial system (UAS).[25]

Skylark C

Skylark C is a shipborne mini UAS designed for patrol boats and small vessel operations.[26][27][28]

Skylark II UAV

The Skylark II is a close-range tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system.

Skylark 3

Skylark 3 is a tactical mini UAV system (UAS) optimized for both dismounted and vehicle-based operation[29][30]

Skylark 3 Hybrid

Skylark 3 Hybrid is a Long Endurance Tactical Mini UAS[31]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Arakan Army Seizes Three Soldiers' Sons in Western Myanmar". The Irrawaddy. 2020-06-26. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  2. ^ a b AA, ULA / (2020-06-27). "Three sons of soldiers from Myanmar Army, came to collect the UAS drone were Captured by Arakan Army". ARAKAN ARMY. Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  3. ^ a b "An Israel Made Drone Is Seized by Arakan Army and Arrested 3 Family Members of Myanmar Army While Looking for the Drone". Retrieved 2020-09-24.
  4. ^ "Shifting trends: Special forces equipment". Archived from the original on 2008-06-02.
  5. ^ "To gain autonomy, the Air Parachute Commando n ° 10 designs the CORVUS, its own mini-drone". 2018-08-25. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ "Uruguay seeks Elbit Skylark UAV deal". 16 November 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  8. ^ "South Korea chooses Israeli-made unmanned surveillance plane. . - Haaretz - Israel News". Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2007-12-27.
  9. ^ Israel; Army prepares to induct Skylark 2 UAV,, March 15, 2013
  10. ^ Elbit unveils Skylark 3 UAV -, 12 February 2016
  11. ^ Israeli Forces Praise Elbit UAVs in Gaza Op, 12 August 2014
  12. ^ "Syria says shot down Israeli drone over Quneitra". Haaretz. Retrieved 2021-04-08.
  13. ^ Al-Qassam Brigades captures Israeli drone last month - The Palestinian Information Center, 12 August 2015
  14. ^ "Israeli drone shot down by Syria forces". The Times of Israel. March 21, 2017. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  15. ^ Zitun, Yoav (22 March 2017). "Initial investigation findings point to human error in IDF drone crash". Ynetnews. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Mitzer, Stijn; Oliemans, Joost (29 December 2021). "Death From Above - Azerbaijan's Killer Drone Arsenal". Oryx.
  19. ^ ""The Silent Sparrowhawk"". (in Hungarian). 2014-04-08. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  20. ^ "Israeli Elbit To Build Drones In Poland". 2006-09-05.
  21. ^ "Slovak Special Forces purchased Elbit's Skylark I-LEX". 2017-02-20. Retrieved 2021-02-28.
  22. ^ Mitzer, Stijn (14 February 2022). "Turkmenistan's Path To Drone Power". Oryx Blog.
  23. ^ "Skylark Man Packed Over the Hill Mini UAV" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2005-01-13.
  24. ^ "Elbit page on Skylark I". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26.
  25. ^ "Skylark I-LEX". Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  26. ^ "Skylark C". Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  27. ^ "Elbit Systems Introduces Skylark C". Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  28. ^ "Skylark C Shipborne Mini UAS" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-09-18.
  29. ^ "Skylark 3". Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  30. ^ "Skylark 3 Field Deployed Tactical ISTAR UAS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2018-05-17.
  31. ^ "Skylark 3 Hybrid Long Endurance Tactical Mini UAS" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-08-16.
Canadian Armed Forces post-1968 unified aircraft designations