Israeli loitering munition specialist UVision recently tested its Hero-120 kamikaze drone under Arctic conditions.
The cold weather trials in Finland were part of a “field evaluation under extreme winter environmental conditions,” witnessed by various military representatives, Janes reported, citing company officials.
“This evaluation was the concluding phase of a lengthy process, which included earlier test flights in the region, as well as extensive laboratory environmental tests, simulating the extreme temperatures, winds, and humidity conditions of the Arctic winter,” the outlet quoted the company as stating.
Tested at − 28°C
The evaluation included three trials — two in dry conditions and one wet — with temperatures dipping as low as -28°C (-18.4F).
Tests were conducted in both day and night conditions, including “heavy snow, strong winds, humidity, ice-forming flight conditions, low clouds, and limited visibility,” the outlet added.
The company said that the “harsh-weather operational effectiveness addresses not only the specific needs of military forces operating in the Arctic but also the broader north and east of Europe,” alluding to the current conflict in Ukraine.
The kamikaze drone is designed to provide a significant advantage to dismounted tactical units such as special forces.
It provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, along with a strike range of 60 kilometers (37 miles) and endurance of 60 minutes.
Weighing around 18 kilograms (39 pounds), the munition includes a 4.5-kilogram (10 pounds) warhead and canister.
How It Strikes
The man-portable munition can be mounted on a vehicle, vessel, or helicopter.
Launched pneumatically from a launcher, the system has low acoustic and visual signatures.
An operator controls the munition through a data link terminal set and hand-held fire-control unit and is able to transfer control to another location.
A strike can even be aborted mid-air, with the system loitering before re-engaging a target.
The munition can also be diverted to a different target or be stopped altogether.