Loitering munitions may play a greater role in anti terror operations, according to Israeli sources. Israel aerospace industries (IAI) have developed the HAROP Loitering Munition (LM).
HAROP is a long endurance LM which can be launched from a variety of platforms, and is equipped with tactical UAV capabilities: high performance FLIR/ color CCD EO seeker with 360 hemispherical coverage. It searches, detects, attacks and hits high value re-locatable, time critical, land or sea-based, moving targets with pinpoint accuracy at long ranges.
HAROP unit is comprised of LM launchers and a Mission Control Shelter (MCS) that enables missile control with a “Man in the Loop” operation, engagement or abort attack capability in real time, avoiding collateral damage.
The HAROP can be applied to a variety of battle scenarios, including low and high intensity conflicts, urban warfare and counter terror operations.
HAROP LMs are launched from transportable launchers and navigate towards the target area, where they loiter and search for targets. Once a target is detected, static or moving, it is attacked and destroyed by the HAROP LM. The attack can be performed from any direction and at any attack angle, from flat to vertical –a capability which is highly essential in urban areas.
The operator monitors the attack until the target is hit. Another HAROP LM can observe and send real-time video of Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) to the operator. The operator can command to abort the attack in order to avoid collateral damage, returning the LM to loitering mode, and restart the attack later.
The capabilities of the HAROP gives according to Israeli sources is a good indication about the new generations of loitering weapon systems being developed now.
The use in anti terror stems from the need to attack terrorists hiding in urban areas where top and precise attack is essential.