Raytheon and Uvision plan to perform a live demonstration of their jointly developed Hero 30 loitering weapon system, with the activity likely to be conducted in the USA during June.
Previous demonstrations attended by US Army special forces representatives used an inert warhead, but the pending test will use a live charge developed in the USA.
Israeli company Uvision last year teamed with Raytheon to contest the US Army’s lethal miniature aerial missile systems requirement, with the US firm to serve as prime contractor. A formal tender is expected to be issued in early 2018, with the service intending to purchase 25,000 loitering weapon systems over a 15-year period.
The canister-housed Hero 30 weighs 3kg (6.6lb) and is deployed using a pneumatic launcher. Powered by an electric motor, it can fly for 30min, loitering at 1,000-2,000ft above the ground. After launch, the weapon locks on to a predetermined target and transmits video imagery to an operator on the ground before an attack is approved.
Enhancements being made for the US requirement include increased targeting accuracy and the ability to carry a smaller warhead.