Raytheon and UVision are finalising the design of a derivative of the latter's Hero 30 loitering munition that will be offered to meet the US Army's lethal miniature aerial missile system requirement.
Industry sources indicate that the companies are working to match the weapon's performance with the likely needs of a formal tender – expected at the end of 2017. This will result in a lighter and more accurate munition, carrying a smaller warhead.
If the Hero 30 is selected for the army requirement – likely to cover around 25,000 loitering weapon systems acquired over a 15-year period – Raytheon will serve as the prime contractor.
UVision's current electric-motored Hero 30 is a canister-carried weapon weighing 3kg (6.6lb. It is deployed using a pneumatic launcher and flies at an altitude of 1,000-2,000ft.
Equipped with an electro-optical/infrared sensor, it has an endurance of 30min, and transmits video footage to an operator using a hand-held unit before engaging a pre-determined target.