This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled the newest members in its Loitering Munitions (LM) family.
IAI is the world’s pioneer in developing and fielding various types of LMs: the most prominent so far being Harpy (an autonomous anti-radiation LM for SEAD/DEAD missions) and HAROP, an Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR)-guided, man-in-the-loop LM, designed to locate, track and destroy high quality static and mobile targets. Both systems have been sold extensively worldwide.
The first member in the extended family is the Harpy NG (New Generation), which is designed to counter the newer types of air defense radar threats that have evolved since the introduction into service of its former version.
The totally revamped model introduces two major changes:
- Improvement, as well as extension of the covered frequency band to much lower frequencies, to deal with all types of air defense radars, while still building on the extensive capabilities of the former generation Harpy.
- Packaging the new Anti-Radiation (AR) Seeker in the more advanced airframe of its stablemate – the HAROP. This repackaging enables better flying characteristics – including longer loiter time, extended range, higher altitude as well as commonality in maintenance and training.
An additional new member in IAI’s family of LM’s is the Green Dragon, a tactical, low-cost LM designed to provide small ground units and special operations units with significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact envelope. Green Dragon is a silent, all electric LM with up to two hours of loitering time, during which its operator can collect visual intelligence of surrounding areas up to a range of 40 km.
This LM can locate, acquire and dive on operator designated targets with a warhead of nearly 3 kg and extremely high accuracy (better than 1 m CEP). The Green Dragon is launched from a sealed canister: as many as 12-16 units can be carried on a small vehicle and launched upon request. The operator has a small tablet-sized control panel and a tactical low-power datalink to the LM. The Green Dragon operator also has a built-in “abort and go around” capability to prevent unnecessary collateral damage or mistaken targeting. The unique combination of silent operation, long mission endurance, long-range communication and pinpoint accuracy, coupled with secured “in canister” logistics, make the Green Dragon an ideal cost-effective weapon for infantry, Special Ops and other similar users.
Boaz Levi, IAI Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group said: “IAI is introducing two new Loitering Munitions, intended to refresh, update and complement our already successful family of LMs. The new tactical products serve to bolster the abilities of small tactical infantry units and Special Ops, with a special emphasis on solving operational problems in urban areas.”