A loitering munitions developed by an Israel-based company could soon be in the inventory of America’s weapon systems. 

The US Defense Department is reportedly interested in procuring the Isreali- made Hero-120 loitering munition for American special operations.

The report added that the department is seeking the approval of the congress for a $6.9 million budget it needs to purchase undisclosed number of the suicide drone. 

“The Defense Department is eyeing an Israeli-made, tank-killing, loitering munition called the Hero-120 for U.S. Special Operations Command,” the Inside Defense reported earlier this month. 

“The Pentagon’s acting comptroller is seeking the funding as part of a larger $2.8 billion omnibus reprogramming sent to Congress last month.”

Amid choices, why is the defense department eyeing the Hero-120?

Isreal-based UVision, the company behind Hero-120 promoted it as ideal for anti-tank missions or other strategic objectives. Hero-120 comes with a 3.5 kg. warhead and has an extended flight time of 60 minutes.

The mid-size loitering munition, can also carry different warheads ranging from 1.5 kg to 4.5 kg that may also feature air-burst fragmentation for anti-personnel effect, point detonation for targets, am option for High Explosive Anti-Tank (HEAT) that will give operators the ability to strike armored personnel carriers or main battle tanks, and a proximity mode for windows and doors.

US_military_Afghanistan The US Defense Department reportedly wants to purchase an undisclosed number of the loitering munition Hero-120 made by Israel company UVision. Pictured: U.S. Army soldiers secure an area, as a medic treats Sgt. Matt Krumwiede, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in southern Afghanistan, in this June 12, 2012 file photo. Photo: Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

Jerusalem Post reported that, in 2018, the Marine Corps’ Rapid Capabilities Office with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory submitted a request for information for an organic precision fire system that can provide fire support as far as from a distance of 40 to 60 kilometers, and can be used against mobile land, stational or sea targets in all operating environment.

The Hero-120 can be deployed from land, naval or airborne platforms from a canister. It also has BLOS (beyond line of site) capability, and can strike targets 40 kilometers away from the launch site. 

The loitering munition also gives its operators critical advantage in confined or urban battleflied settings with its high-speed transit flight and low-speed loitering capabilities and  precision (circular error probable of <1 m.).

It is also equipped with GPS/INS navigation, electro-optical/infrared reconnaissance and a terminal guidance package. It can also reach altitudes of 1,500 feet. The munition can dive to its target at 100 knots, can be fully aborted and re-engaged in mid-air.