Israel's ground forces have temporarily grounded their Elbit Systems Skylark 1 ("Sky Rider") unmanned air vehicles after a series of mid-air inflations involving the type's airbag landing system.

Israel Defense Forces confirms that operations of the mini-unmanned aerial vehicle have been halted until further notice, pending the completion of work to determine what caused its airbag to be deployed in flight several times during recent weeks. Installed to cushion the impact of landing, the device was recently activated before a landing signal had been transmitted.

Flights involving the Elbit type will resume immediately after the issue has been resolved, with the aircraft mainly used by artillery units to provide an "over-the-hill" intelligence capability.

Skylark 1 LE 

© Elbit Systems

The Skylark 1 air vehicles used are from early manufacturing batches, with series production of the system due to start later this year.

Sources say there is a clear direction to the investigation, and are confident that it will result in the cause of the fault being found.

Source: Flight International