A live-fire demonstration of the UVision Hero 30 loitering munition for the US Army is likely to be postponed, after the Department of Defense mandated that the service should acquire a system equipped with a US-produced warhead.
UVision teamed with Raytheon to offer the Hero 30 to the US Army, against competition from the AeroVironment Switchblade. Live demonstrations of the candidate systems will inform a selection decision in the service's lethal miniature aerial missile systems (LMAMS) project.
US sources indicate that a planned live demonstration of the Hero 30, previously expected around mid-year, is likely to be delayed – and efforts are now being made by Raytheon to equip the Israeli-developed unmanned air system with a US-made warhead. Previous demonstrations of the system to US Army special forces personnel were made with an inert charge.
A formal tender for the LMAMS requirement is expected to emerge early next year, with the army planning to purchase 25,000 loitering weapon systems over a 15-year period.
UVision's baseline Hero 30 – which weighs 3kg (6.6lb) – is carried in a canister and deployed using a pneumatic launcher. Powered by an electric motor, it has a 30min flight endurance. Raytheon will be prime contractor for a US order.