Loitering Munition Hero-30 for the Italian Special Forces

The Italian Special Forces, for defense purposes in the operational theater, will be equipped with Hero-30 loitering munition produced by the Israeli UVision.

The Defense Staff has in fact expressed the urgent need to equip the Tier 1 Special Forces deployed in operational contexts with tools that allow them to protect themselves when the neutralization of the enemy threat involves a “certain physical risk”.

These systems, according to SMD, guarantee an increase in the Force Protection parameters, also providing a high and constant Situational Awareness (SA).

The purpose of this program is therefore “to ensure the self-defense of units of Special Forces isolated in operational theaters”.

The acquisition is accelerated by the borrowed operational scenario in Iraq (Operation Prima Parthica) and the use of units of the Special Forces for intelligence operations (pursuant to Law 198/15).

The Defense has therefore chosen to rely on UVision’s Hero 30 consisting of a tube containing a drone operated and controlled by a single man.

The original version has a weight of about 3 kg, an autonomy from 5 to 40 km and a flight autonomy of 30 minutes. It can reach speeds of up to 100 knots.

The system is powered by a thrusting electric motor.

The choice fell on the Hero 30 as, while maintaining the characteristics of ease of use, it is equipped with greater operational flexibility compared to the products of the strategic “range” with higher sensor quality, time on the target, variable detonation delay also in flight and setting the angle of attack.

Low acoustic emissivity, low visibility and ease of transport are also guaranteed with the possibility of operating both at night and during the day.

Thanks to the system in question it will be possible, in particular, to:

  • carry out surveillance and maintain Situational Awareness in all phases that provide for a kinetic intervention on a target;
  • provide Fire Support while maintaining Situational Awareness and the appropriate safety distance from the threat;
  • verify the battlefield by staying behind the Forward Line of Own Troops (FLOT) to allow a correct planning of the operations having in any case the flexibility, in case of need, to use the system even beyond the FLOT and modify your Action Line in real time;
  • ensure a safety frame around a Bare Base or Forward Operating Base within a hostile territory by identifying a threat from a distance and consequently engage it.
    The Defense Staff points out that the purchase in question concerns a number of ammunition responding to the immediate operational needs of the Special Operations component:
  • LA UVision Hero-30 operational ammunition with warheads complete with launching tube;
  • LA UVision Hero-30 inert training ammunition with rescue parachute;
  • complete GCS control systems;
  • 1 complete training package for 6 operators (duration 3 weeks, to be carried out in Israel at UVision headquarters – includes 12 sorties with inert ammunition);
  • 1 training package for Advanced Training Package complete for 4 operators (included in the 6 indicated in the previous point) lasting 2 weeks to be held in Israel at the UVision headquarters (optional course);
  • Integrated Logistic Support (SLI) including training course for 4 operators, from take place in Israel at the UVision headquarters.
    The operator training course will be held at the company’s headquarters located in the city of Tzur Igal in Israel.

As clarified in the technical sheet of the Defense Staff, the program does not feature specific interaction activities with the national industry. However, it is specified that there will be the involvement of a contracted company for the maintenance and repair of non-functional parts of the system following training use and therefore the industrial sector particularly interested in the program is that of retail electronics and components.

The total cost of the program is estimated at € 3.878 million. It should be noted that, during the actual negotiation of the contract, a deviation of 10% in charges will be considered admissible, aimed at taking into account the real economic conditions in force at the time of signing the contract.

With regard to the contractual conditions, the report specifies that, since the program is secret, the provisions of art. 162 “secret contracts” of the Procurement Code (Legislative Decree 50/2016)

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