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Skylark UAV Makes its First Flight

RAFAEL Conducts Successful Trial Flight of the Skylark Shoulder-Launched Mini-UAV

17 February 2004 -- Rafael Armament Development Authority, Ltd announces highly successful results in the Skylark mini-UAV flight trials that took place in Israel earlier this month.

RAFAEL's Skylark is a man-portable, canister launched loitering observation system that weighs 6kg and is 12cm in diameter. The drone is shoulder-launched by a booster or small rocket engine. Following launch, the Skylark's wings (1.5m wingspan) snap into flight position powered by an electrical motor. The retrievable drone is equipped with a stabilized camera that provides wide area coverage and point-of-interest monitoring. It can operate at a distance of up to 10 kilometers and loiter over the target area for more than 60 minutes, providing real-time target imagery, in direct support of the combat formations.

During the complete flight tests, which were conducted on February 10, 2004, the Skylark was successfully launched from a canister, attained the required altitude, followed the pre-programmed mission way-points and reported effectively from each of the way-points. Following a flight of approximately half an hour, the Skylark landed at a prearranged point, at which time it was collected by the RAFAEL team.

Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, VP Marketing and Business Development at RAFAEL, states that "the successful test results present a major breakthrough for the Skylark project. The advantage of the system, as a means of organic data collection for the combat force, as well as the ready-to-launch design, was immediately apparent during the trial run."

The fact that the Skylark can be launched from a roof, a window or a narrow alley shows its versatility and extreme suitability for use in urban warfare. It is simple to operate with mission or way-point planning being carried out on a laptop computer and includes the capability of updating the way-points prior to or during flight. RAFAEL believes that the Skylark trial was the first step in effectively penetrating the local and international UAV markets.

RAFAEL designs, develops, manufactures and supplies a wide range of advanced defense systems for all branches of the Israel Defense Forces and other Armed Forces worldwide. These leading edge products are based on RAFAEL's vast technical and operational experience. In addition to its defense technologies, the company has also formed partnerships with civilian counterparts to develop commercial applications based on its proprietary technology. RAFAEL is the third largest defense company in Israel with nearly 5000 employees and sales in 2003 of $800M.

For further information please contact
RAFAEL public affairs. Tel: 972-4-8791244



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