The Indian air force is to purchase Israel Aerospace Industries' Harop loitering munition system, with deliveries next year.
Suitable for launch from a variety of platforms, the long-endurance Harop has tactical unmanned air vehicle-type capabilities, including an electro-optical/infrared seeker providing 360° coverage. The aircraft can search for, detect and attack high-value mobile, time-critical and moving targets at land or sea, and with pinpoint accuracy from long range, IAI says.
Each Harop system comprises transportable launchers and a mission control shelter that provides a man-in-the-loop function to approve engagements or abort attacks in real time to avoid collateral damage. The system can be used across a range of scenarios, from low- to high-intensity conflicts, urban warfare and counter-terror operations.
After launch, a Harop air vehicle navigates towards a target area and loiters while searching for targets. If an attack mission is aborted, the UAV can be returned to loitering mode before making a new strike. Another Harop can be used to deliver real-time video to support battle damage assessment tasks.
IAI's success builds on its previous sale of Harpy attack drones to India several years ago, and follows a German army order for the Harop system signed last year with the company and Rheinmetall Defence.