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Hero multi-domain, multi-purpose, man-portable loitering munition system for the modern battlefield

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Ongoing developments of technological advances in warfare have led to the increased use of Loitering Munitions Systems. The HERO-120 / 30 are addressing the trend and are emerging as the Loitering Munitions-of Choice with a unique aerodynamic structure that combines a long loiter time, a high angle of attack with high manoeuvrability in the terminal attack phase as well as maximized lethality against any current and future target. Soldier Modernisation wanted to look at the capabilities of the 2 products.

Q: Could we discuss the Hero 120 LM and its frontline use?

A: HERO-120 is a lightweight system 25 kg (with Canister) with a very low logistics requirement and built for intuitive operation. It carries a High Explosive Dual-Purpose (HEDP) warhead developed by Rheinmetall to maximized effects. Its shaped charge warhead provides focused armour penetration capability while the fragmentation effect is designed for dense effects across a wide area to defeat unprotected targets as well as lightly protected targets. Comprehensive operator training of the entire system is based on the Israeli experience with a conscription army, is very rapid and allows for completion of operators in less than 2 weeks.

With 60 minutes loitering time and a 60+-kilometre range, HERO-120 strikes time sensitive targets from all angles and directions, including in GNSS denied environments. Mission abort capability allows to automatically return into the loitering mode, re-engagement of the enemy, or return to a recovery area via parachute. The HERO-120's commonality with the Ground Control Station via combat proven radio datalinks makes it safe, reliable, and simple to operate. The same Ground Control Station without changes is being used for all other current and future HERO-Loitering Munitions, allowing for one-time-training of the operator to be able to transition to operate any current and future smaller or larger HERO Loitering Munition.

Q: How can the Hero 120 help operators working in the field?

A: With the loitering HERO-120, front-line forces gain operational independence and do not have to rely on fire support or intelligence gathering from other units. Man-portable and/or mounted on a vehicle, the HERO-120 is carried into combat and launched from a protected, hidden position with very low signature, giving the launch team maximum safety, flexibility and stand-off between the target. The operator locates and tracks targets using a gimbaled Electro-Optic & Infrared Camera. This allows the operator to focus on the target rather than flying the munition while providing full day / night combat capability. A high level of automation leaves the operator to confirm the target to then choose the direction, the angle of attack, the fuze programming such as point impact, proximity, delay or stand-off, the time of the attack and then to initiate the attack. The operator retains full Man-In-The-Loop (MITL) control at all times. The HERO-120 also enables easy transfer of control from the operator to a forward-deployed force that can take control of the munition for its missions.

Q: We are looking now especially within Europe multiple climatic regions, one of the most problematic is the Artic how does the 120 operate in below freezing temperatures?

A: The battle-proven HERO-120 increases the spectrum array of lethal weapons with a game-changing capability for armed forces. HERO-120's proven ability to function effectively even in the harshest weather conditions makes it a highly valuable asset in cold Developed and enhanced by a partnership between Rheinmetall of Germany and UVision of Israel, the HERO-120 LM has been field-tested to operate in Arctic weather conditions - in heavy snowfall and extreme cold. The harsh-weather operation effectiveness of the HERO-120 addresses both the specific needs of forces operating in the Arctic and Europe climate warfare, critical for current and future combat scenarios in Europe.

Q: When we look at independent operating particular for dismounted soldier weight and gained operational benefit are two of the most asked questions how does the Hero 30 help out?

A: The Hero-30 is the smallest system among the HERO family of smart loitering systems. The Man-Portable loitering munition systems can be carried on the back by only one single soldier. Whether they are launched from a building window or directly from the ground, the Hero30 tactical loitering munitions stands ready for action in less than two minutes, ensuring that precious seconds are not wasted when time is of the essence. This ability to adapt, deploy swiftly, and strike with precision in urban areas, open fields, or mountainous terrain provides all echelons of the military with a substantial advantage. With a total weight of 3.9kg this makes it an effective part of a dismounted team, allowing a range of 15km to allow a covert strike mechanism and endurance of 40mins means the Hero 30 can be flown to the target from different angles protecting the location of the operator.

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