HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesElbit sells SkyStriker loitering munition to mystery European customer

Elbit sells SkyStriker loitering munition to mystery European customer


JERUSALEM — Elbit Systems will supply several hundred canister configuration SkyStriker loitering munitions to an undisclosed European country in a $95 million deal, the Israeli firm announced Monday.

The company declined to identify the customer when asked by Defense News. But based on previous publications by Elbit, it’s likely the country is not a member of NATO, otherwise the business tends to point that out.

Elbit noted its contract with the mystery buyer will last two years.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought the weapon type to the foreground, with Russia using the HESA Shahed-136 exploding drones and establishing a factory to manufacture them.

Elbit’s SkyStriker is an autonomous loitering munition that can locate, acquire and engage operator-designated targets.

Elbit has said the SkyStriker can also maintain a human-in-the-loop mode in GPS- and communications-denied environments, and can use several warhead types weighing up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds).

It can launch from a variety of ground and aerial platforms and is equipped with an electrical engine that enables covert operations of up to 2 hours and with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles).

Elbit unveiled the weapon in the summer of 2017 ahead of the Paris Air Show, and its first operational appearance was a year and a half later in Azerbaijan.

Tzally Greenberg is the Israel correspondent for Defense News. He has experience reporting on economic affairs as well as defense and cyber companies.

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