UVision Air’s Loitering Weapon Systems in High Demand Among European Nations

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Some European countries have shown great interest in Israeli made loitering weapon systems. Israeli sources told Raksha Anirveda that this interest will lead to joint ventures between Israeli companies and European ones.

Israeli company UVision was the first to see the potential of loitering weapon systems in other countries, even before the war in Ukraine. UVision is now developing the next generation of very advanced loitering weapon.

The new generation systems will have longer operational ranges, larger warheads and very advanced Automatic Target Recognition (ATR).

The new generation systems will perform in a GPS denied area and all this without a man in the loop like with current operational systems that are controlled by the operator.

The existing systems developed by the Israeli company are currently used by the armed forces of the USA, India, Italy, France, Argentina and Canada.

Last year, UVision Air officially opened its new facility in Virginia for the production of HERO systems. The facility in Virginia enables the company to increase its local production capability, further improve its high-level, rapid response to US customers, and increase supply to international customers – either directly or through government-to-government initiatives.

The first US client was the special operations command (SOCOM) that has selected the Hero-30, the smallest loitering systems made by the Israeli company. Israeli sources said that the Hero-30 is the perfect systems for anti-personnel missions because it is man-pack portable, deploys in a matter of minutes, and has a top speed of 100 knots.

The system with its canister weighs 7.8 KG and has a 0.5 kg warhead. It can hit targets in 15 km ranges. The electric motor gives the systems an endurance of 30 minutes.

In 2022, UVision was awarded a contract through its business development partner, Mistral Inc. to supply its Hero-120 to the US Marine Corps Organic Precision Fire Mounted (OPF-M) System. The system will be integrated with LAV-M, JLTV, and LRUSV.

The  Hero-120 OPF-M has been selected after the completion of several successful demonstrations, tests and evaluation processes, proving the capabilities of the system. Israeli sources said that the Hero-120 OPF-M will provide the Marines Corps with ISR, highly accurate and precision indirect fire strike capabilities.

The Hero-120 is a mid-range, anti-armour weapon system which meets the complex requirements of the modern battlefield.  Hero-120 is a high precision smart loitering munition system with a unique aerodynamic structure that carries out pinpoint strikes against anti-armour, anti-material and anti-personnel targets including tanks, vehicles, concrete fortifications, and other soft targets in populated urban areas. The Hero-120’s high precision capability ensures minimal collateral damage. Its wide range of multi-purpose warheads enable the operational user to effectively engage all targets.

The Hero-120 can be ordered to abort mission. Its mission abort capability allows automatic re-entry into loitering mode, re-engagement of the target, or return to a recovery area using a parachute while securing the warhead. The Hero-120 is also used by the US SOCOM and marines.

The Hero-120 weighs 18 kgs including the canister and is armed with a 4.5 Kgs warhead. The system has a range of over 60 km and an endurance of 60 minutes.

The big demand for UVision’s loitering weapon systems created joint ventures with foreign companies. One very interesting joint venture is with Milrem Robotics, an Estonian a company that makes advanced unmanned ground vehicles. The joint venture resulted in putting a multi canister on the Estonian company unmanned vehicle. This combination will enable the ground force to use the unmanned ground vehicle as a launch pad for the Hero-120 and even the Hero-400, the largest version made by the Israeli company. The Hero-400EC weighs 50 kgs and carries a 10 kgs warhead. It has a range of over 150 and can loiter for 120 minutes.

Israeli defence sources said that in recent months the Israeli ministry of defence is evaluating request from a large number of countries that want to equip their infantry units with the Israeli made loitering weapon systems.