After years of development, UVision Air Ltd. of Israel has unveiled its new weapon system: drones capable of loitering over a target and attacking it like a missile, reports IsraelDefense.
While "Kamikaze" drones, like the IAI's Harop, have existed on the battlefield for at least ten years, thus far they were intended primarily for strikes against strategic targets – that is, important targets, deep in enemy territory. The new weapon system series is intended for use at the tactical level as well, such as enemy ships, tanks, missile systems, etc.
The loitering attack munition, designated "Hero," has been developed in several versions, to be employed in accordance to the size of the target and the way in which the munition is to be deployed.
The smaller attack munition weighs just 3 kg, writes IsraelDefense. The Micro-Stamp payload by Controp of Israel, weighing 300 grams only, is fitted to the head of the UAV. It enables daytime and nighttime video surveillance, transmitting images to operators on the ground.
The UAV may also be used for surveillance and intelligence collection missions.
All Hero strike missions can be aborted until the very last moment, and the UAV can be retrieved and then land by means of a parachute.
UVision's CEO is Yair Dubester, one of the pioneers of the Israeli UAV industry, who served as the manager of MALAT, IAI's UAV division.
"In our new incarnation, we decided to focus on loitering attack munitions," Dubester told IsraelDefense. "Our view – and we have seen the Americans adopting the same view – is that loitering attack munitions are going to be the next big thing. I am not referring to such large 'Kamikaze' UAVs as IAI's Harop, but to smaller, 'personal' loitering munitions. The Americans began using such platforms in Afghanistan."