Representatives of the Israeli and German ministries of defense signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of new types of loitering weapons. According to the agreement, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and the German Rheinmetall Defense company (RDE) will cooperate in the development of network-centric systems that will provide land forces with the means for persistent surveillance, targeting and attack of high value targets by loitering munitions.
The cooperation is based on the extensive experience IAI has gathered with unmanned vehicles and loitering weapons, especially the Harpy and its precision-attack derivative formerly known as Cuttlass. RDE maintains a leading position as a provider of UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance missions for the German Army. As a near term goal, the companies will cooperate in pursuance of the WABEP precision attack stand-off weapon system project, planned by the German Ministry of Defense. WABEP will integrate the capabilities of the KZO UAV, developed and produced by RDE, combined with a loitering weapon from IAI Systems, Missiles and Space Group. RDE is also offering a counter-radar loitering weapon known as Taifun (TARES). IAI is also cooperating with MBDA, in pursuit of a similar program in the UK.