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IS Modifying Skywalker X8 FPVs for Operations in Iraq

Jul 4, 2016

In recent months, Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) have successfully downed several of the group's hobbyist Skywalker X8 FPV fixed-wing UAVs, which had been modified to conduct surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting missions. In contrast with other popular commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) RC UAVs used by IS, the Skywalker X8 FPV provides the group with a durable, light-weight, and practical, if not ideal, open platform capable of accommodating a wider array of sensors, actuators, batteries, communications equipment, and cameras – within certain technical parameters. Thus, the open platform enables users to modify the UAV to suit their needs, a fact demonstrated in the unique build-outs in the examples below, many of which featured high-definition action cameras and multiple signal boosting antennas.

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