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Elbit wins $95 million ‘suicide drone’ deal with unnamed European state

The SkyStriker UAV can loiter in the sky until it locates a target and fires a warhead of up to 22 pounds.

Elbit System's SkyStriker loitering munition. Courtesy: Elbit Systems.
Elbit System's SkyStriker loitering munition. Courtesy: Elbit Systems.

Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems announced a $95 million contract on Monday to supply its SkyStriker “suicide drone” to an unspecified European country.

The Haifa-based company said the contract will see it supply several hundred of the drones over two years.

Elbit Systems’ SkyStriker LM is a fully autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle that can passively loiter in the sky until it locates a target and fires a warhead of up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds)

SkyStriker enables covert operations of up to two hours and has a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles).

Israeli defense exports by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries soared in 2022, a surge attributed to European countries boosting their defense budgets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and Israel’s normalization of relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

In May, Israel inked its first-ever Dutch defense export deal, valued at $305 million. Under the five-year contract, the Israeli Defense Ministry will deliver 20 PULS (Precise and Universal Launching System) autonomous artillery rocket systems made by Elbit Systems.

The same month, Israel and Montenegro signed a $22 million agreement for the latter’s acquisition of Elbit Systems-made weapons including mortar munition systems and training equipment.

In January, Elbit signed a contract with NATO to deliver anti-missile systems for the Western alliance’s tanker transport plane fleet.

A month earlier, the Romanian Ministry of National Defense said it would receive up to seven Watchkeeper X tactical unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) from Elbit Systems.

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