UVision Demonstrates Another Loitering Attack Drone

 - January 11, 2018, 10:17 AM
The Hero family was first shown internationally at the Paris Air Show in 2015. The smallest Hero 30 (right) has attracted interest in the U.S. (Photo: Chris Pocock)

UVision Air said that it successfully demonstrated the latest in its range of loitering attack drones to “a strategic customer.” The Israeli company said that the demo proved the tracking and lock-on capabilities of the Hero-400EC system using a moving vehicle and a human target. It claims that “armed forces around the world” have selected its “extremely affordable” products, which are offered in various sizes.

UVision Air is directed and managed by former employees of Elbit, IAI, and Rafael, as well as retired officers from the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). Over the past three years, the company has developed the Hero range from a small, electric-powered device weighing just 3 kg that can fly for 30 minutes to a fuel-powered vehicle weighing 125 kg. They all share a cruciform, pusher-propeller configuration and an EO/IR guidance sensor that is datalinked in line-of-sight to a ground controller. Although designed primarily for ground launch from canisters or rails, depending on size, they can also be launched from airborne platforms such as attack helicopters, or from surface ships such as fast-attack craft. UVision claims that they are “the next generation of loitering systems.”

The Hero-400EC has a new electric motor that “delivers high-speed transit and low-speed loitering with much lower acoustic and thermal signatures, thus improving stealth,” according to UVision. It has an endurance of two hours and the deployable quad-wings allow for any angle of attack. Like the other Hero vehicles, it can be recovered by parachute and used again, if the target is not prosecuted.

UVision has not said whether the IDF has become a customer for the Hero series. But the company said early last year that it was teaming with Raytheon to pursue interest from the U.S. military in the Hero 30 system, the company's smallest. UVision says that its products are ideal for monitoring and attacking terrorists operating in urban areas, with low collateral damage.