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Update: 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 Australian Army will acquire eight Skylark I-LEX UASs from Elbit Systems under Army Minors Project 024.35, a spokesperson for the Australian Department of Defence (DoD) told Janes on 12 December.

“The systems are scheduled to be delivered in 2024,” the spokesperson said.

“The Skylark I-LEX will be provisioned to the 2nd Division's 9th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery for enhanced situational awareness during domestic operations including ‘Defence Assistance to the Civil Community' (DACC) tasks,” the spokesperson added.

DACC provides the means through which the DoD can assist Australia's State and Territory governments, and non-defence agencies to deliver emergency or non-emergency support in times of need.

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.

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