UVID Dronetech: Loitering Munitions – From Visions to Decisive Weapons in the Modern Battlefield

“Loitering munitions are a vital tool for modern warfare, offering unique capabilities and advantages across a range of operations," said Assaf Shechter from IAI

UVID Dronetech: Loitering Munitions – From Visions to Decisive Weapons in the Modern Battlefield

Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik

From necessity to reality: forty years ago, Israel began emphasizing on the need for aerial superiority, when the fighting forces do not know where the targets are, and began developing loitering munitions. These munitions need to cater to many challenges in the battlefield, explains Assaf Shechter, Chief Strategy Officer & PMI, Systems Missiles & Space Group, IAI.

“The surroundings is challenging – night, day, weather, regardless of the weather. The important thing is to hit the target without collateral damage,” Shechter said during the UVID Dronetech conference. “There is also a cost-efficiency question, the need to think about footage that will serve the psychological warfare front, which munitions are the best, and more.

“The munitions are hunters: they can both collect data and attack. They have a wide range of coverage and targets, a low signature, a wide range of sensors, and multiple launch capabilities.

Shechter discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh War, the first loitering munition war. There, these weapons helped establish aerial superiority, led the fleet, held deep-strike missions, provided close air support to ground forces, and attacked headquarters and infrastructure.

In the Russia-Ukraine war, there is no aerial superiority, a true challenge for any type of air defense system as well as for the ground forces, which have no close assistance, Shechter explained.

“Loitering munitions are a vital tool for modern warfare, offering unique capabilities and advantages across a range of operations. Overcoming affordability challenges, adopting civilian tech, and addressing technical and regulatory hurdles will be key to enduring the widespread adoption and effective use of loitering munitions,” Shechter concluded.

 

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