Tel Aviv: UVision USA, the US subsidiary of Israelis company UVision Air, in collaboration with Axxeum, a full-service aviation integration facility, has announced the successful launch of its Hero 120 loitering munition system from an airborne helicopter. The capability was demonstrated during the EDGE 23 event in May 2023 at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.
The trial showcased the system’s ability to complete a sensor-to-shooter cycle by launching the Hero 120 from a Bell 412EP helicopter to strike a ground target. The Hero 120 demonstrated safe separation, successfully launching from the helicopter while it was airborne.
Several parameters were tested and proven successful during the trial, including launching from a safe altitude without endangering the helicopter, transferring tactical control between the on-board operator and the ground operator six times, pursuing the munition to a forward location, controlling the system within a 30-kilometer range from the helicopter, and effectively attacking a ground target over a 50-kilometer flight.
The successful launch was made possible through the cooperation between UVision USA and Axxeum. Axxeum designed a fully mechanical docking system for the single canister launcher, conducted all structural and load analysis, established safe flight envelopes, and operated Axxeum’s Bell 412 helicopter. This accurate modelling and integration allowed electrically-triggered launches without the need for integration with the helicopter’s electrical systems or flight controls. This revolutionary solution enables safe launch and installation in any helicopter or aerial platform.