Skylark Is A Small Sea Drone

Launched from a boat for aerial reconnaissance

Skylark C

Skylark C

A small drone for small boats for small wars.Elbit Systems

Every drone is an answer to that fundamental question of life: could a flying robot do this better?

The Skylark C, by Israel-based defense company Elbit Systems, is built to launch from a boat, take a quick look around the sea, and then return to its crew. Think of it almost like a hitchhiking seagull, only instead of demanding snacks it captures pictures of potential enemies.

From Elbit:

As a maritime vessel organic asset, Skylark C provides the capabilities to inspect maritime activities from a safe distance, observe targets from a bird’s eye view, perform reconnaissance over coastal areas and perform continuous covert surveillance, thus extending the vessel’s ISR capabilities with respect to range, rate and quality of information obtained.

That’s a jargon-rich paragraph, and bizarrely one of the most accessible statements available about the Skylark. In essence, Elbit is billing its new drone as an easy-to-use flying scout, which can take a closer look than the people on board the small ship that launched it.

The Skylark can capture and stream video with regular and thermal imaging, letting the small, two-person operating team see what it sees in day or night. The all-electric vehicle is quiet and small, which are good ways to not be seen or heard. Elbit is marketing it for “special naval operations, border security, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations,” which makes it a drone that helps SEALs and hunts pirates.