Elbit Systems UAVs to be manufactured in Kazakhstan from 2020 onward
On 22 November, Kazakhstan Engineering announced that its subsidiary Kazakhstan Aviation Industry will start assembling Israeli unmanned aerial vehicles from 2020 at a rate of four systems per year.
Israeli soldier about to launch a Skylark-I UAV (Picture source: Wikipedia)
The announcement comes following a previous agreement with Elbit Systems for the purchase of UAVs, with the Kazakh army operating a variant of the Elbit Systems Skylark I-series of surveillance/reconnaissance UAVs. Based on information published on the website of state-owned defense equipment manufacturer Kazakhstan Engineering, the UAV displayed was most likely the Skylark I-LEX.
The Skylark I is a light UAV. It is designed as a man-packed system for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance. The Skylark is launched by hand. The payload consists of a daylight CCD or optional FLIR for night operations. During operation, it sends real-time video to a portable ground station. Recovery involves a deep stall maneuver, landing on a small inflatable cushion. It has a range of 20/40 km. The Skylark is already in operation with the militaries of Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden. It has been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Skylark I was also selected by French Special Forces (Commando parachutiste de l'Air n° 10) in March 2008. Previous operators, who have now retired the system, include Australia and Canada. In total, it has been selected by more than 20 operators worldwide.