UVision has conducted a demonstration of its Hero 30 expendable unmanned air system in southern Israel for the US Army’s special operations command.
US sources say that during the live demonstration, the Hero 30 hit its designated targets “with great accuracy”.
The smallest version of a family of such systems, the Hero 30 loitering UAS weighs 3kg (6.6lb), including an expendable munitions load carried in a canister which also serves as a pneumatic launcher. Equipped with an electro-optical/infrared sensor and with a maximum endurance of 30min, the weapon is powered in flight by an electric motor.
After launch, the Hero 30 deploys its 0.8m (2.6ft)-diameter wings before loitering above the battlefield at an altitude of 1,000-2,000ft. It will then lock on to a designated target, and transmit video footage to an operator equipped with a hand-held unit. The operator – who can be between 2.7nm (5km) and 22nm away from the aircraft, depending on the antenna used – can abort the mission if required.
The demand for small loitering munition systems has increased in recent years, prompting another Israeli manufacturer, Aeronautics Defense Systems, to develop the expendable Orbiter 1K. With an endurance of 2-3h, this is expected to become operational soon.