Elbit Systems' Skylark UAV breaks world record in high altitude flight

Launched from a 14,000 feet mountaintop, Skylark autonomously climbed to an altitude exceeding 15,000 feet and landed at a designated Point of Recovery on the mountain Over the past few months, Skylark demonstrated record-breaking performance inextreme temperatures ranging from –17 to +50 degrees and in harsh weather conditions (Haifa, Israel, May 24, 2006) -- Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT) announced the successful test flight of the Skylark Mini UAV at 15,000 feet altitude. The high altitude flight demonstration was part of a larger evaluation conducted by a potential customer. The Skylark was launched from a mountaintop at an altitude of 13,785 feet (4.5 Kilometers) and operating in autonomous flight mode climbed to a cruising altitude exceeding 15,000 feet. At the end of the test flight the Skylark performed a perfect automatic landing at the designated point of recovery on the rocky mountain. The flawless take-off, cruise and landing in an altitude where the air density is less than 60% of the sea level atmosphere and the wind gusts are known to be dangerous for any airborne platform were testament to Skylark's ruggedness and reliability. The high altitude test was part of a successful series of evaluation flights which included performance in day and night operational scenarios. Previously, in other system evaluations, Skylark demonstrated flawless performance in extreme temperatures ranging from –17 to +50 degrees and under cloudy and rainy conditions. The Skylark, advanced mini-UAV, is a unique man-pack configuration designed for day and night observation and data collection "beyond the hill" up to distances of 10 km. The mini-UAV system is equipped with an exceptionally quiet electric motor, totally autonomous flight and outstanding observation capabilities allowing for easy operation and orientation. The system can be launched by soldiers after a brief training period. The Skylark system enhances ground forces’ tactical performance in various mission scenarios. Elbit Systems' Skylark is the sole mini-UAV system selected by the IDF and IMOD for its ground forces after successfully passing a series of stringent tests demonstrating its technical and operational capabilities. and is currently deployed by several countries as part of the coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The mini-UAV has already chalked up 1500 operational flights. Elbit Systems' UAV family is playing a pivotal role in today’s global war on terror. Defense and Homeland Security forces around the world benefit from the UAVs' ability to perform sophisticated missions without risking pilots' lives. Elbit Systems' UAVs have flown over 45,000 operational hours in Israel and other countries worldwide. The various UAV systems in the family are designed for a wide range of applications and include the Hermes 1500, Hermes 450 – chosen to lead the British Armed Forces prestigious WATCHKEEPER program, and Hermes 180 - the smallest UAV in the Hermes family.

Source: Elbit Systems
Date: May 25, 2006

More Elbit Systems News