In answer to a requirement from Israeli military customers, including special forces, IAI has developed a quad-copter loitering munition that can be deployed by a single soldier for both surveillance and attack purposes. First revealed yesterday at the Singapore airshow, the Rotem L is controlled from a tablet station and is powered by a replaceable battery pack that gives 30 minutes’ endurance in standard mode.
Rotem L has a pair of camera sensors–one in the nose and one under the belly–that can be used for surveillance and for target acquisition, imagery being relayed to the tablet. The nose camera can be swapped between day and night units in a matter of seconds. A quick-release module also allows the Rotem L to be reconfigured between a surveillance-only mode, with an additional battery pack giving another 15 minutes of endurance, or loitering munition mode with a two-grenade warhead weighing around two pounds. The warhead has an arming system that requires airflow for activation, with a high-conspicuity plastic “flag” being raised to warn operators that the aircraft is armed should it be recalled to its point of origin without detonation.
Designed primarily for urban and close-quarters battle, the Rotem L has a typical operating range of around a mile, with a maximum of six miles. The vehicle incorporates an audio distance-measuring system that uses sonar to prevent it from inadvertently colliding with walls and other obstacles. Once an attack is commanded, the vehicle accelerates to around 60 mph (100 km/h) in the terminal phase, and can approach its target from varying angles.