Skylark-Israel's smallest UAV
Skylark: The drone that dominates skies of Gaza

All-female IDF unit uses miniature drones to keep an eye on Hamas activity in Gaza.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Skylark C Drone
Skylark C Drone
Elbit Systems

The border with Gaza may have been mostly quiet in the two years since Operation Protective Edge, but the intelligence battle between Israel and the terrorist organizations in the Strip continues unabated.

In recent years unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as recon drones have taken on a greater role in gathering intelligence. One of the most important of such vehicles is the Skylark.

First unveiled by the IDF in 2012, the Skylark is the smallest drone in Israel's current arsenal. The IDF website describes the Skylark as "small, it’s lightweight, it can be carried by one person and set up to be ready to fly in less than 8 minutes." The IDF also says that the Skylark weighs "only seven kilograms, the drones are small, efficient and practically unnoticeable in the air. Equipped with a live video feed, they can fly for up to three hours, at night and in all weather conditions without being detected."

The small size of the Skylark allows it to fly at a lower altitude than other drones while remaining undetected.

The Skylark can be assembled and launched quickly upon the spotting of an object of interest, such as the vehicle of a Hamas leader. It can then be used to track that vehicle's movements. This way the IDF gathers intelligence not only in preparation for the next Gaza conflict, but on possible cross-border raids and tunnel construction.

On the Gaza border there are now all-female units that operate the Skylark, in addition to the male units that have been using the drone since its inception. The Skylark has been given updates to accommodate the female soldiers, with a new catapult-based launching system that replaces the cable-based system still used on larger drones.

The Skylark is used on all of Israel's hostile borders, and was also used to gather information on the location of 3 kidnapped Israeli teenagers during Operation Brother's Keeper.