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March 22, 2017 9:55 am

IDF Drone Crash in Syria Likely Caused by Technical Error, Investigation Reveals

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A Skylark drone from Israel’s Elbit Systems defense manufacturer. Photo: Natan Flayer via Wikimedia Commons. – A military investigation revealed that an Israeli drone’s reported crash in Syria this week likely occurred due to a technical error, rather than being brought down by force.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a Skylark drone — the military’s smallest operational drone — had been downed in the Syrian part of the Golan Heights over Quneitra. A subsequent investigation by the IDF’s Ground Forces and Northern Command said that the drone likely crashed due to an error made by Artillery Corps troops.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported that a senior IDF officer said the drone “wasn’t shot down, it crashed,” and that there is “no concern of an information leak as the aircraft itself does not keep classified information [in its memory banks]. The little technical information the drone contained was immediately erased [upon crashing].”

“Most of the malfunctions that caused the drones to crash were technical…When we purchased the Skylark, our initial expectations were for malfunction that causes a crash once every 200 hours of flight. In reality, it happened once every 400 to 500 hours. We, of course, are hoping to improve that too, but this is a relatively small and cheap drone,” the officer added.

Following the crash Monday, Iran’s Shi’a terror proxy Hezbollah released photos of the downed drone, displaying stickers with Hebrew writing that identify the drone as a product of the Israeli defense manufacturer Elbit Systems.

This is the third instance in which an IDF Skylark drone has crashed in enemy territory. Last week, a Skylark crash-landed in the Gaza Strip, and in January, another Skylark crashed in Lebanese territory.

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