Israeli Army Drone, Missing for Six Months, Recovered in North

The Skylark UAV was being flown as part of a training exercise before crashing due to a technical fault. The IDF could not recover the drone until now due to inclement weather.

An Israeli soldier with a Sky Rider drone, 2011.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit

An Israeli military drone that went missing in Israel's skies six months ago was found on Monday close to the town of Bat Shlomo, near Zichron Yaacov in the northern part of the country.

The unmanned aerial vehicle, a Skylark manufactured by Elbit Systems (known as Rochev Shamayim, or Sky Rider, in the IDF), was being flown as part of a training exercise over Israel when a technical fault led operators to lose control of the drone, which then crashed. 

The IDF could not deduce where it had crashed on the ground due to inclement weather, and only on Monday was it discovered in one piece, and handed over to Israel Police. 

The IDF Spokesman's Office confirmed the report.

Accidents with drones, now referred to as remotely piloted aerial vehicle or remotely piloted aircraft system, are fairly common considering they now account for about 70 percent of all operational Air Force flight time, including intelligence gathering and other operations.

The IDF uses the relatively small Skylark drones for various tactical intelligence and operational purposes for ground forces units. Last month, a new female commander was appointed to head the Rochev Shamayim battalion, which is part of the Artillery Corps. She is the first female officer to serve as the commander of a battalion in the artillery corps, and only the second woman to command an IDF combat battalion. The battalion is responsible for operating the Skylark in the IDF.