Hero-400EC extended-range loitering system completed a successful flight demonstration last month. “The demonstration we recently carried out for a strategic customer proved the remarkable capabilities of our Hero-400EC system,” Noam Levitt, CEO of UVision said. UVision specializes in the development and manufacturing of loitering weapons, a product line that merges the capabilities of guided weapons and unmanned systems, that have raised increased interest in recently.

The customer that witnessed the demonstration already operates other Hero models and is interested in the 400EC to expand those capabilities for extended intelligence gathering, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) as well precision attacks.

Levitt added that UVision is pursuing a number of opportunities for precise, long-range loitering munitions systems. “We are confident that our system, which is a leader in its category with proven high-level capabilities, will be a serious competitor,” Levitt said.

The main advantage of loitering weapon is its capability to carry out pinpoint strikes in complex terrains, such as in urban areas, with minimal collateral damage. In cases where an attack is aborted, the HERO can be recalled and continue loitering, or directed at another target. The use of electrical propulsion means extremely low noise and thermal signature, that, with the high-speed adds to the element of surprise.

The Hero-400EC, an electrically propelled loitering weapon is the latest member of the Hero family of loitering munitions that currently comprise eight systems. The system’s propulsion and aerodynamic configuration deliver high-speed transit and attack and low-speed loitering with much lower acoustic and thermal signatures, thus improving stealth. The unique aerodynamic cruciform design delivers high precision terminal engagement accuracy against static and moving targets or targets in confined urban environments, thus reducing collateral damage.

The Hero-400EC is optimized for the loitering munition role, where the deployable wings allow for any angle of attack and deliver missile-level pinpoint strike capabilities. The guidance and control system enables hit precision with a miss distance of one meter. The Hero-400EC uses a multi-purpose tandem, high explosive warhead that weighs 10kg and is activated by a three-mode fuse that adaptable to different target types, including moving targets, up to main battle tank size, as well as stationary targets including buildings.

The system is 2.1 meters in length, has a wing-span (tip-to-tip) of 2.4 meters, and has a maximum take-off weight of 40kg. The seeker of the 400EC uses a stabilized electro-optic/infrared (EO/uncooled IR) payload specially designed for the loitering munition’s role. The system has two-hour endurance, at a range of 40km-150km, Operational altitude is 18,000ft with loitering/transit speeds of 50-150kts. Automatically controlled with ‘man-in-the-loop’ capability over a two-way, line-of-sight data link, the weapon has a unique strike abort capability that enables automatic dive recovery and re-entry into the loitering mode, mission re-assignment or return to the recovery area using a parachute.

Controlled by a single operator, the Hero-400EC can be either rail-launched or deployed from a multi-tube canister that can be mounted on vehicles, aircraft or vessels, launching the loitering weapons at far away from the target.

Hero-400EC (left) and Hero-120 (right) loitering weapons. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update