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Elbit Systems to supply Skylark I-LEX UAS to Australian Army

Elbit Systems will supply its Skylark I-LEX UAV (pictured above) to the Australian Army. (Elbit Systems)

The Australian Army will be procuring Elbit Systems' Skylark I-LEX unmanned aerial systems (UASs) equipped with electro-optic (EO), and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) system.

The certified ADS-B system will “support the Australian Army achieve wider use cases outside of traditional army UAS employment including integration into more classes of airspace”, Elbit Systems said in a media release on 7 November.

In particular, this will strengthen the Australian Defence Force's (ADF's) capability to conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations, Elbit Systems said.

According to Janes All the World's Aircraft: Unmanned , Skylark I-LEX is a mini unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that has been characterised as being a battalion-level tool, capable of static or on-the-move silent operation.

The UAV has been described to be inaudible at 100 m above ground level, and as being suitable for beyond-the-next hill surveillance, reconnaissance, counterinsurgency, force protection, perimeter security, border/coastal surveillance, counter-terrorism, and law enforcement applications.

The Skylark I-LEX UAV has a wingspan of 3 m, a range of 40 km, and an endurance of three hours. It has a maximum take-off weight of 7.5 kg, and a maximum payload capacity of 1.2 kg.

Elbit Systems emphasised that the electric-propelled Skylark I-LEX features mission-oriented, intuitive man-machine interface (MMI), making it effective for a range of military missions.

“After a competitive tender process, including preview test and evaluation activities, the contract with [the Australian] Army Reserve Unit 9 Regiment includes delivery and support of mission systems, with sustainment support options until 2030,” Elbit Systems said.

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