The Skylark I is a Miniature UAV. It is designed as a manpacked system for tactical surveillance and reconnaissance. The Skylark is launched by hand. The payload consists of a daylight CCD or optional FLIR for night operations. During operation, it sends real-time video to a portable ground station. Recovery involves a deep stall maneuver, landing on a small inflatable cushion. It has a range of 20/40 km.
The Skylark II was unveiled in 2006. It has a range of 60 km and is designed to be operated by a two-person crew and to be deployed using HMMWV class field vehicles. In December 2007, South Korea decided to purchase the Skylark II system. Israel planned to bring the Skylark II into service by mid-2013.
The Skylark entered operational service in 2008, and began being used in large quantities for high-tempo support of ground forces during Operation Protective Edge which began on 8 July 2014. Every active and reserve brigade received at least two air vehicles and flew them continuously, sometimes both vehicles at the same time. By August 12, some 18 systems had flown several hundred hours, generating intelligence and streaming target-acquisition data to soldiers on the ground.
On 12 August 2015 Al-Qassam Brigades of Hamas claimed that they had captured a Skylark I and reused it for their own missions. The drone was captured on 22 July 2015 by one of their special commando units, and technically checked it to make sure it was not booby-trapped.[unreliable source?]