An unmanned aerial vehicle operated by the IDF’s artillery corps crashed in territory in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, the army confirmed.
The Skylark drone had been on a routine reconnaissance mission when it fell out of the sky east of Gaza City in the area of Saja’iyya. According to the army no sensitive information was compromised and the circumstances behind the crash were being investigated.
The Skylark, built by Elbit Systems and operated by the artillery corps, is the IDF’s smallest drone measuring in at seven and a half feet and operates on all fronts for tactical surveillance. It can be launched by one or two soldiers and can be operated on the roof of buildings or in the back of armored personnel carriers, providing live-video to operators once airborne.
While it is considered an effective and popular drone, there have been several crashes since it was delivered to the ground forces in 2010.
In January, a Skylark crashed in southern Lebanon after suffering a technical malfunction. While the IDF had tried to locate the drone, Hezbollah reported the following day that they had found pieces of it. A week later the IDF temporarily lost contact with a Skylark over the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus and later located near a Samaria Regional Brigade post following overnight searches.
Skylarks have also crashed in Gaza, including in July 2015 when one fell in the Gaza Strip as a result of a malfunction. Hamas’s military wing recovered the remnants of the crashed drone and later released a video claiming to have put it back together, making it operational.
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