Feeds

Israeli robo-kamikaze selling like hot exploding cakes

Blighty reinventing prowlerbomb wheel as usual

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Paris Airshow The Israeli arms industry appears to have stolen a march on that of Britain in the field of "loitering munitions" - aerial surveillance drones equipped with warheads and designed for one-way strike missions. While Blighty pays large sums to develop a partly homegrown example, Israel is already making substantial export sales of its Harop robo-kamikaze.

The Israeli Harop prowler-bomb at the Paris Airshow

Israeli wheel ...

Israeli national aerospace'n'arms firm IAI announced a $100m+ sale to an undisclosed foreign customer last week. The Harop is now on show at the Paris Airshow, and rumour around the arms bazaar has it that the unnamed purchaser nation is Turkey - though there are other theories. Meanwhile, IAI also says that an adapted version of the hammerhead-esque killbird will also be bought by the German armed forces.

The Reg spoke yesterday to Joe Weisman of IAI at Le Bourget. Weisman explained that the Harop is a derivative of "the world's first loitering munition that I'm aware of, the Harpy defence-suppression weapon".

Harpy was designed to take out air-defence radars - a capability of great concern to the aggressive Israeli air force, known for mounting bombing raids against any target deemed dangerous by the Tel Aviv government no matter where located. Harpy would fall off its carrying aircraft and then fly about waiting for an air-defence radar below to switch on and begin emitting pulses - at which point the Harpy would dive down on the transmitter and explode.

Harop differs from Harpy in that it's directed electro-optically rather than by radar. It can be launched from a container on a ground vehicle, firing out of its box on a booster rocket then unfolding its wings and starting up its internal-combustion driven pusher propellor.

Once airborne, the Harop can fly about until its fuel is exhausted, transmitting back video to its control station just like a surveillance drone.

But "it's a missile, not a drone," says Weisman. If the Harpy doesn't find a target worthy of attack, it can't be brought back and used again. In such a case it would normally self-destruct in midair to avoid unnecessary damage.

If a target is found, however, the Harop can then fly down and crash into it with unerring precision, detonating its 50lb warhead as it does so. IAI specifies that "the attack can be performed from any direction and at any attack angle, from flat to vertical which is highly essential in urban areas".

Given the German and Turkish (or whoever) orders, it's plain that Harop is ready to go right now, and is well up to the standards of major-nation armed forces. Such "loitering munitions" are a popular concept in many quarters, too - particularly among the UK Royal Artillery, which intends to introduce a loitering munition as the cornerstone of its Indirect Fire Precision Attack (IFPA) programme, a major part of its planned future.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.