General Dynamics and Elbit Systems of America Conduct First U.S. Demonstration of Unmanned Aerial System for U.S. Armed Forces
CHARLOTTE, N.C.. – General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and Elbit Systems of America, LLC, recently 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 that are 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,” said Phil 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 exceptionally 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 a force multiplier by allowing a single operator to both fly the aircraft and operate the sensor suite. The end product is outstanding imagery that helps ‘paint the picture’ for combatant commanders and intelligence officers.
Design of the Skylark II system is based on the extensive operational experience gained from a family of Elbit UAS systems during the recent Lebanese War with the Israeli Defense Forces and currently employed by coalition forces supporting Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. This system, like many others in its modular family, offers the U.S. military a variety of unique, operationally-validated solutions for current and emerging requirements.
“The effectiveness and reliability of the Elbit’s UAS family has been proven by over 100,000 flight hours,” said Raanan Horowitz, president and chief executive officer of Elbit Systems of America. “We are pleased to partner with General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products and provide the U.S. warfighter with this operational capability.”
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products is a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD). Located in Charlotte, N.C., it provides a broad range of system solutions for military and commercial applications. The company designs, develops and produces high-performance armament systems; defensive armor solutions; aerospace components; mobile shelter systems; and is the leading U.S. producer of biological and chemical detection systems. More information about General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products can be found on the Internet at www.gdatp.com. More information about General Dynamics is available at www.generaldynamics.com.
Elbit Systems of America, LLC, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESLT). Headquartered in Fort Worth, TX, the company is a leading global provider of high performance products and system solutions focusing on the defense, homeland security and commercial aerospace markets. With facilities in New Hampshire, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Virginia and California, Elbit Systems of America is dedicated to supporting those who contribute daily to the protection and safety of the U.S.
April 30, 2008
Contact: Gail Warner
Tel: (704) 714-8014
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