South Korea's army has selected Elbit Systems' Skylark II close-range unmanned air vehicle, with its first-phase deal for one system expected to grow into procurement of a large number of systems.

The rail-launched Skylark II has a maximum take-off weight of 43kg (95lb), including a Micro Compass electro-optical/infrared/laser designator payload supplied by Elbit's Elop subsidiary.

Powered by a double electric motor, the design has a 5m (16.4ft) wingspan, 6h endurance and an operating radius of up to 100km (54nm). Recovery is by parachute and airbag.

 Skylark II launch

 Skylark II recovery

Both images © Elbit Systems

Meanwhile, Israel's defence ministry has released a delayed tender for an estimated $30 million battalion-level UAV requirement, with Elbit's smaller Skylark I system pitted against the Aeronautics Defense Systems Orbiter, Israel Aerospace Industries I-View 50 and Rafael Skylite designs. Each of the 2h-endurance UAVs will undergo about 100h of flight testing by mixed military and industry crews.