Israel Aerospace Industries signs two loitering munitions deals
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed two separate agreements with two countries to deliver long-range loitering munitions under deals worth a combined value of US$145 million.
The deal for unspecified systems to undisclosed users has followed contracts the company signed in June with three NATO countries worth several million dollars to supply Rotem loitering munitions which in turn followed a similar agreement a month earlier with Estonia for Rotems.
Two years earlier, IAI had secured contracts worth more than $100 million including winning an international tender for the sale of Rotem to a foreign country, sale of the naval Harop system to the navy of a country in Asia and sale of the ground version of the Harop to another customer in Asia.
The success of attack UAS, whether dedicated or opportunistically modified, by both sides in the Ukraine war has increased focus on IAI’s offerings and its heritage with the development of Harpy stretches back almost two decades.
While the systems sold under the current contract remained unknown, it was likely it could be Rotem which as a quadcopter system is better able to loiter, easier to retrieve if a mission is cancelled, safer to operate and has already been used by as many as six countries.
In July 2023, MBDA Germany announced that it had signed a cooperation agreement with IAI for the production, integration, sales and marketing of the latter's loitering munition products in Germany, explicitly aimed at filling capability gaps in the German Air Force, Navy and Army.
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