Monday, October 5, 2009

Germany signs contract for Harop loitering munition



By Arie Egozi

Israel Aerospace Industries has signed a contract to supply its Harop loitering munition system to the German army. The German defence ministry earlier this year funded the adaptation of design to meet its specific requirements, with the work performed by a joint team of IAI and Rheinmetall Defence.

Each Harop unit comprises long-endurance air vehicles contained within transportable launchers, plus a mission control shelter. This allows the missile to be controlled by a man-in-the-loop in case an attack needs to be aborted to prevent collateral damage. The loitering munition carries an electro-optical/infrared seeker offering 360° hemispherical coverage that can be used to locate and detect high-value mobile, time-critical, land- or sea-based targets.

Applications for the Harop weapon could include low- and high-intensity conflicts, urban warfare and counter-terrorism operations. Attacks can be made from any angle, from flat to vertical in trajectory, says IAI. A second loitering munition could also be flown over the target area to provide battle damage assessment, with the operator to order a fresh attack if necessary.

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