Warplanes: Australia Acquires Israeli UAV

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November 8, 2005: Impressed by the American use of micro-UAVs in Iraq, Australia has obtained the Skylark system from Israeli firm Elbit. Australian troops in Iraq will receive one Skylark system (three ten pound UAVs, plus one set of ground control equipment), with more to follow once the troops sign off on it. The Skylark, like most micro-UAVs, is a battery powered plastic aircraft. It can stay up for 90 minutes per flight and can operate up to ten kilometers from the base station (radio gear and a laptop computer). The UAV can be equipped with night vision video equipment, or a color day camera. The Israelis pioneered the development of UAVs that worked (the U.S. spent a lot more money on UAVs, never quite getting it right, before buying Israeli systems and getting on the right track.) Skylark is used by the Israeli army and has a good track record. The United States has several hundred micro-UAVs in Iraq, and other coalition troops are eager to get their own. It's hard to obtain the models used by American forces, because U.S. troops are buying all that the American manufacturers can turn out.

 


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