Israel’s Elbit Systems has sold Azerbaijan its latest unmanned aerial vehicle which is capable of long-range precise tactical kamikaze strikes, The Jerusalem Post reports.
Called the SkyStriker, it has been described by Elbit Systems “as a silent, invisible, and surprise attacker,” which “delivers the utmost in precision and reliability, providing a critical advantage in the modern battlefield.”
The fully autonomous loitering munitions system can carry a warhead of up to 10 kilograms and has a maximum loitering time of two hours. With a maximum speed of 100 knots the SkyStriker can reach a distance of 20 km within 6.5 minutes.
The drone is also easy to deploy in the field, and with a quiet electric engine it allows operators to observe and identify enemy targets.Operators of the platform can program the drone to hover above an area before it dives towards a target at a speed of up to 300 knots, destroying the target on impact.
According to the AzeriDefense website, Azerbaijan is the first international customer of the SkyStriker. Some 10 SkyStrikers are seen in pictures released by the website as well as Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev inspecting a Harop suicide drone produced by Israel Aerospace Industries.
In 2018, another Israeli company found itself in the middle of a storm when the Defense Ministry suspended its export license following an investigation into claims that they had been asked by Azerbaijan to carry out a live demonstration of an armed unmanned aerial vehicle against an Armenian military position with their Orbiter-K loitering suicide drone.
The firm, Aeronautics Defense Systems, had opened a factory in the country to build the company’s Aerostar and Orbiter UAVs in 2011.