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Israeli company participating in army loitering munition programme

UVision's Hero-120 tactical loitering system. (UVision)

Israeli-based company UVision is developing a smaller munition in its family of loitering munitions that will participate in the US Army's only loitering munitions programme.

The Hero-120 – a tube-launched anti-tank loitering munition being used in Ukraine – weighs 40 lb and can fly at a maximum speed of 140 kt, said Itzik Huber, UVision vice-president for North America. The new Hero-90 munition is lighter and intended for a dismounted soldier, making it ideal for the Low Altitude Stalking and Strike Ordnance (LASSO) programme.

Hero-120 is part of the first tranche of the (LASSO) programme,an effort for the service to test out different commercial-off-the-shelf soldier-portable, tube-launched anti-tank unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to infantry brigades.

While the soldier can carry the weapon, the lighter Hero-90 is a better fit, Huber said. That's why after the second and the third tranches when LASSO becomes a programme of record, the company plans to offer both Hero-90 and Hero-120 as complementary capabilities, he said. β€œThe 120 is for specific missions, and the 90 is for another type of mission,” he said.

Hero-120 will also participate in planned demonstrations for LASSO in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024 and in a larger demonstration before June, he said.

The company will start production in the US for the Hero-120 in November, but the Hero-90 will not be ready for production until Q3 or Q4 of 2024, Huber added.

Hero-90 weighs 9 kg and has a range of more than 40 km and about 45 minutes of battery life, according to a UVision fact sheet. Its target can be aborted up to three seconds before collision, and its controls can be transferred mid-mission to other operators.

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