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IAI Introduces a Loitering Weapon Optimized for Maritime Attack

Artist rendition of Harop loitering munition launch from ship.

Artist rendition of Harop loitering munition launch from ship.

September 11, 2017 | Source: Defense Update, defense-update.com, 11 September 2017, Tamir Eshel

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has developed a Maritime version of its Harop Loitering Munitions (LM) family. The company is displaying the weapon at the DSEI 2017 defense expo in London this week. The new marine capabilities of the HAROP extends the operational capability of surface ships, from offshore patrol vessels to naval frigates. The technological adjustments of the marine Harop include a launcher with new marine configuration and adjustments of the communication channel of the loitering munition.

In the past year, IAI unveiled several new types of LMs, including the New Generation Harpy autonomous anti-radiation weapon designed for air defense suppression missions (SEAD/DEAD) and Green Dragon, a smaller, tactical and affordable LM offering enhanced situational awareness and superior firepower for tactical land forces. The company also introduced a smaller killer drone – Rotem, a tactical LM based on a light multi-rotor platform that delivers outstanding capabilities against low signature enemy systems in urban and complex environments.

HAROP is a long endurance LM which can be launched from a variety of platforms. It combines the capabilities of a tactical UAV and guided missile as it is equipped to search, detect and attack high-value relocatable targets that are exposed for a very short time, thus becoming ‘time critical targets’. The weapon’s EO seeker comprises a high-performance FLIR/ color CCD with 360 degrees hemispherical coverage. In maritime operations, HAROP can be employed against targets on land as well as targets at sea.