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Israeli unit to field improved Skylark UAV

The "Sky Rider" unit of the Israel Defence Forces' (IDF) Artillery Corps is preparing to deploy a new version of the Elbit Systems Skylark unmanned air system.

According to the defence force, the enhanced aircraft will introduce a significant improvement in its take-off, flight and visual capabilities, transferring aerial footage of a situation directly to battalion level.

The system comprises a new version of the Skylark air vehicle, plus a new "Version 10" operating system, which will be integrated within the unit in the coming days.

Israel's ground forces have specified an objective for "Sky Rider" unit soldiers recruited in November 2012 to be trained to operate the new version of the system from March.

"The new version will be substantially better than the currently existing systems", the unit's commander, Lt Col Uri Gonen, told the IDF magazine. The improved system will also provide a better interface with the defence force's digital army programme equipment, also developed by Elbit, he adds.

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