The two-minute video was captured during the Experimentation Demonstration Gateway Event 2021 (EDGE 21), held in May, according to the video description.
Loitering Munition Demo
The video shows the munition being launched from a moving army vehicle. It hovers, locating its target with onboard sensors, before being guided by a panel of operators to swoop down like a missile and strike a target.
The munition strikes a range of targets in the demonstration, including a command and control node and an air defense system.
The army has not yet revealed specific details of the munition. However, The Drive reported in May that the munition features “man-in-the-loop” control systems in which a human operator remotely controls the drone and moves it with the help of images captured by an onboard video camera until it hits its mark.
Operator handling offers the munition a higher degree of maneuverability, allowing finer adjustments according to the situation, the publication added.
Egde 21 took place at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah from May 3 to May 14.
Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team director Maj. Gen. Walter Rugen said it was expected to show the progression of sensor-to-shooter systems, as the army looks to execute “agile and effective close joint kill chains.”
Edge 21 is part of the broader army initiative, Project Convergence, an army modernization effort designed to connect sensors, weapons, and communications capabilities from all armed services — Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, as well as Special Operations Forces — into a single network.