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Elbit Skystriker

Expendable Loitering Munition UAV

Israel | 2017

"The Elbit Systems Skystriker is just one in a growing line of expendable, loitering unmanned aircraft systems."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/22/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The "loitering munition" is the logical evolution of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) / Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Early forms of the type were dedicated to Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) roles and led to more advanced armed models capable of search, tracking, and engagement. The loitering munition is an expendable weapon where the UAV serves as the delivery method for its explosive payload. Such types are also known under the general names of "kamikaze drone" and "suicide drone", better detailing their over-battlefield roles. The earliest examples were seen in the 1980s.

Israel has been a pioneer and primary player in the field of unmanned aircraft systems and the IAI "Harpy" is largely considered one of the first suicide drones in existence - these initially used in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) and now broadened to include short-, medium-, and long-range solutions in fire support and tactical strike roles. Loitering munitions have proven cost-effective with small profiles and nearly zero acoustic signatures - making them as close to a perfect weapon as can be had today.

The Elbit "Skystriker", another Israeli development, is billed as such - a long-range, cost-effective loitering munition that provides, not only on-call firepower, but tactical reconnaissance capabilities over an active warzone. The system can support conventional troops on the ground as well as special forces operatives requiring precision striking. It is a fully-autonomous system capable of search, track, and engagement actions with target designation accomplished by the ground operator.

As the unit utilizes an all-electric motor drive for propulsion, it is only audible near the point of impact, rendering the target neutralized before it can react.

The Skystrike carries its 5 kilogram warhead within the fuselage and showcases low-cost avionics through a conventional design arrangement. The wing mainplanes are mounted low against the sides of the tubular fuselage and a single-rudder tail unit is featured at the extreme aft-end of the vehicle. The two-bladed propeller unit sits at the end of the fuselage in a "pusher" configuration.

Azerbaijan is a known operator of the Skystriker UAV platform and has been actively using its fleet of drones against neighboring Armenia in its October 2020 war. The nation tested the product in September of 2019 and has moved to grow its reliance on unmanned types as well as long-range weaponry. The Azerbaijan State Border Service ordered the vehicles in 2019 and became the first foreign operator of the type.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Elbit Skystriker Expendable Loitering Munition UAV.
1 x Electric Motor driving two-bladed propeller unit in pusher configuration.
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Elbit Skystriker Expendable Loitering Munition UAV.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Elbit Skystriker Expendable Loitering Munition UAV .
5kg explosive payload.
Notable series variants as part of the Elbit Skystriker family line.
Skystriker - Base Series Name.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Elbit Skystriker. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 100 Units

Contractor(s): Elbit Systems - Israel
National flag of Azerbaijan National flag of Israel

[ Azerbaijan; Israel ]
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Image of the Elbit Skystriker
Image from Elbit Systems.

Going Further...
The Elbit Skystriker Expendable Loitering Munition UAV appears in the following collections:
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