Naval Weapons

IAI trials Green Dragon naval variant

13 July 2017
Image of the tactical land version of the Green Dragon loitering munition engaging a static target in a series of full operational end-to-end trials. Source: Israel Aerospace Industries

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has introduced a new naval application for its Green Dragon loitering munition to address "the unique requirements of the naval arena".

Weighing 15 kg, Green Dragon is a sealed canister-launched tactical loitering munition/intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) system, designed initially to provide small ground units and special operations units with significant situational awareness and firepower in a compact envelope.

The munition is equipped with a 4 in/1 kg Micro-Pop stabilised electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) payload sourced from IAI's Tamam Division, and a 3 kg blast fragmentation warhead. Powered by an electric motor, Green Dragon has a given loitering duration of approximately 90 minutes, and can deliver ISR and precision accuracy of higher than 1-metre circular error probable (CEP) out to ranges of 40 km (21 nm). Operated by a tablet-sized control panel via a tactical low-power datalink, Green Dragon also features a built-in 'abort and go around' capability to avert collateral damage or targeting errors. As currently designed, the new loitering munition will not be recoverable once the warhead is activated, although it can potentially be retrieved if the warhead remains inert.

For the naval application, IAI has made "adjustments to the sealed canister and communication antenna", Boaz Levi, executive vice president and general manager of Systems, Missiles & Space Group at IAI told Jane's . For a maritime-platform role, the Green Dragon is launched by a small rocket assist motor from a sealed marine-approved canister, enabling the system to quickly clear the ship's deck area.

Levi said that the company has recently conducted a series of tests with the modified Green Dragon from a "non-naval military platform" to demonstrate the naval application of the system as a tactical, low-cost situational awareness and firepower solution for patrol boats, offshore patrol vessels, and light combat ships.

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