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Update: Singapore Airshow 2022: Elbit unveils Skylark 3 hybrid STUAS

Elbit Systems unveiled the Skylark 3 ISTAR STUAV at the Singapore Airshow 2022. (Elbit Systems)

Elbit Systems has unveiled a new variant of the Skylark 3 small tactical unmanned aerial system (STUAS) that is powered by a new hybrid propulsion system.

The Skylark 3 Hybrid small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (STUAV), first revealed at the Singapore Airshow 2022 that is taking place from 15 to 18 February at the Changi Exhibition Centre, combines a battery-powered electric engine and an internal combustion engine, increasing the mission effectiveness and cost-efficiency of the system without compromising the size or weight, the company said.

β€œThe Skylark 3 Hybrid uses its combustion engine to fly rapidly to the Area Of Interest (AOI) and switches to the electrical engine while operating above the AOI,” Elbit said. The use of two engines provides propulsion redundancy, which improves flight safety and reliability, with one engine backing up the other, it added.

The propulsion system includes a two-blade push propeller powered by an electric motor (lithium batteries), which is positioned at the rear of the air vehicle as in the baseline Skylark 3, plus a two-stroke internal combustion engine at the front of the UAV, which connects to a pulling two-blade propeller. The use of the electric engine reduces the UAV's thermal and acoustic signature while operating in the AOI, preserving the system's stealth profile. The UAV airframe has been strengthened to host the internal combustion engine, Elbit said. This engine enables the UAV reach the required mission altitude faster.

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