Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed deals worth millions of dollars with three additional NATO countries to deliver its Rotem loitering munitions following Estonia’s recent purchase.

With its capabilities and suitability for close combat scenarios, Rotem has garnered interest from armed forces worldwide.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a defence and aerospace company, has signed separate contracts with three NATO countries, further expanding the global deployment of its Rotem loitering munition system.

These agreements come on the heels of Estonia’s decision to procure long-range loitering munitions from IAI, solidifying the growing demand for tactical loitering munitions within the NATO alliance.

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Rotem, a member of IAI’s esteemed family of loitering munitions, including Harpy, Harop, and Mini-Harpy, has been battle-tested since 2019, proving its effectiveness in various combat situations. It is specifically designed for use by special forces units and serves as an asset for test and evaluation purposes.

Avi Elisha, Vice President and General Manager of the MBT Missile Division at IAI expressed his enthusiasm for the recent developments, stating, “The acquisition of Rotem by three different NATO members demonstrates the high and growing global demand for tactical loitering munitions.

With nearly four decades of experience in developing this type of munition, IAI has continuously evolved its capabilities. Rotem’s unique Vertical Takeoff and Landing feature makes it an ideal choice for close combat scenarios, including urban warfare.”

Rotem offers a range of up to ten kilometres and is designed for deployment by individual soldiers within infantry or small unit/special forces operations. Its user-friendly interface, and robust design contribute to its cost-effectiveness, making it an attractive option for armed forces seeking efficient and versatile munitions.

The disruptive nature of IAI’s loitering munitions surpasses their physical size in terms of the damage they can inflict. Consequently, armed forces worldwide recognise the offensive and defensive capabilities enabled by this category of weapons.

Rotem’s lightweight, compact, and affordable design makes it well-suited for urban warfare environments. It provides soldiers with an elevated vantage point, enabling them to survey areas, including hills and obstructed urban landscapes, even beyond the line of sight.

Rotem features both day and night electro-optical sensors, empowering tactical field units with situational awareness and the ability to respond to emerging threats.

Unlike conventional missiles or rockets, Rotem can seek out targets before being disarmed if authorisation to attack is not granted. In such cases, the system can safely return to its operator for battery replacement and immediate redeployment on a new mission.

With a flight endurance of up to 30 minutes or the capability to loiter for an impressive nine hours, Rotem can hover above high buildings or hills, equipped with an open camera and datalink, while awaiting the emergence of a target. Once detected, Rotem can engage and neutralise the threat, ensuring an adequate response.

IAI is poised to contribute to its partner countries’ security and defence capabilities within the NATO alliance.