Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced a new tactical loitering munition called Mini Harpy on 18 February.
A computer-generated image of a Mini Harpy being launched. (IAI)
The system combines capabilities from IAI's two previous flagship loitering munitions, the Harop and Harpy, bringing together the ability to lock on to radiation-emitting threats like radar with man-in-the-loop electro-optical guidance.
The munition “loiters [in] the sky until the threat is detected. Upon detection, the system locks in on the threat and attacks it for a quick, lethal closure. The system was designed to provide operators with control up to the last moment, including cessation of attack at any stage”, IAI said in a statement. It added that it can gather intelligence before carrying out an attack.
Weighing 45 kg, the weapon is electrically powered, extremely quiet, and carries a shaped charge weighing approximately 8 kg, according to the company. It is designed to be launched from land, sea, and air platforms and has a range of 100 km and an endurance of 120 minutes.
Boaz Levy, general manager and executive vice-president of IAI Systems, Missiles and Space Group, said the system was designed to deal with “fast-moving targets that ‘blink’ for a few seconds at a time”.
“Rather than relying on a precise reference point, the system we developed loiters in the air waiting for the target to appear and then attacks and destroys the hostile threat within seconds. The Mini Harpy is unique in its beam detection and optical capabilities, a combination of two of our loitering missile systems that sold thousands of units in Israel and abroad,” he added.