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IAI unveils Point Blank manportable loitering munition

A still from the IAI video shows a Point Blank transitioning to horizontal flight during a test. (Israel Aerospace Industries)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled its Point Blank manportable missile on 19 January, saying the US Department of Defense (DoD) has signed a contract for its development and delivery.

The DoD's Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to rapidly develop and deliver a Point Blank version called the ROC-X that “meets specific US DoD requirements for the purpose of increasing the organic precision-strike lethality and survivability of small tactical teams”, IAI said in a statement.

The first prototypes and training will be delivered for testing and evaluation in fiscal year (FY) 2023, which ends on 30 September for the US military.

IAI described Point Blank as a manportable, electro-optically guided hybrid missile that is designed to increase the precision-strike capability of tactical units, especially against transient targets.

“Point Blank weighs about 15 lb [6.8 kg] and is about 3 ft [91 cm] long. The missile can fly at altitudes above 1,500 ft, at a maximum speed of 178 mph (186 km/h), and can hover or loiter in the air while the target's nature and exact position is confirmed prior to attack,” it said.

A brochure on the company's website gave slightly different figures, saying it has a length of 1 m, a wingspan of 80 cm, a speed of 129 km/h, an endurance of 18 minutes, and a warhead weighing 2 kg. It can be locked on to a target by the operator using its electro-optical system, or aborted so that it automatically returns to its launch site.

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