FARA program will rely on Israeli suicide drone technology
Northrop Grumman targets FARA program
As part of the FARA (Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft) and FLRAA (Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft) programs, which aim to replace the AH-64 Apache and the UH-60 Black Hawk, the US Army is looking at new munitions. To this end, it has launched the Air Launch Effects (ALE) program, which requires future helicopters to carry suicide drones. To win this contract, Northrop Grumman has teamed up with Israeli company UVision, a specialist in suicide drones with its Hero family.
Through the creation of an Israeli-American JV, UVision and Northrop Grumman are now offering the Hero ALE, a combination of the Hero 120 and the Hero 400. The Hero 120 has an explosive head weighing 4.5 kilograms and an endurance of 60 minutes. The Hero 400 has an 8 kilo warhead weighing 40 kilos and a range of 150 kilometers. Neither company has yet revealed images or features of the Hero ALE. UVision said in a press release that its family of "loitering munitions" could be carried on AH-64s as a final upgrade. Indeed, these munitions could be launched from the rails of the Hellfire missile.
Air Launch Effect
Aimed at replacing the AGM-114 Hellfire with more flexible munitions, these "prowler munitions" will have to fulfil a wide range of missions. Their areas of use include anti-personnel warfare, the destruction of armoured vehicles including tanks, the SEAD (Suppression of Enemy Air Defences) mission and the jamming of electromagnetic emissions. Their swarming capabilities will make them formidable weapons, both for combatants in the field and for competitors of the American BITD.
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