Hero-400EC (Electric, Cruciform) is an extended-range variant of the Hero family of loitering weapon systems developed by UVision Air, an unmanned air system developer based in Israel.
Unveiled in May 2017, the weapon system is designed to engage a range of stationary or moving targets, including armoured vehicles, main battle tanks (MBTs), entrenched and fortified positions, and targets in confined urban environments. It is also suitable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) applications.
The system also features advanced deployment, target acquisition and precision attack capabilities.
UVision Air demonstrated Hero-400EC munition’s tracking, lock-on and mission-abort capabilities to its strategic customer in Israel in December 2017.
UVision’s Hero family of loitering systems includes Hero-30, Hero-70, Hero-120, Hero-250, Hero-400, Hero-900, and Hero-1250.
Design and features of Hero-400EC weapon
The Hero-400EC loitering munition has a length of 2.1m, wing span of 2.4m and maximum take-off weight of 40kg. Its nose section incorporates guidance and warhead systems.
The mid-section of Hero-400EC features four fixed-planar wings in cruciform configuration, which provides increased lift and manoeuvrability. Equipped with four tail fins, the tail assembly improves aerodynamic performance of the weapon.
Deployable wings allow the weapon to execute attack mission in any angle of attack with pinpoint strike capabilities.
Guidance and warhead
The Hero-400EC’s guidance assembly integrates a seeker with remote sensors and global positioning system (GPS). The guidance system allows the weapon to engage static or moving targets with high precision.
The seeker guides the weapon towards the designated targets in terminal phase, while the GPS provides target acquisition, positioning and navigation information both before and after launch.
A stabilised electro-optic / infrared (EO / IR) payload unit housed in the nose section is intended to detect and track objects.
The weapon is armed with a large, multi-purpose, tandem, high-explosive warhead weighing 10kg. The warhead offers improved penetration and high-precision terminal engagement accuracy with minimum collateral damage. It also offers high lethality against a variety of targets.
Navigation of Hero-400EC loitering munition
The Hero-400EC loitering system can be launched from a launch rail or a modular multi-tube canister, which can be deployed aboard land, air and sea platforms. It is recovered using a parachute recovery system.
The munition has the ability to engage targets autonomously or in man-in-the-loop mode. In the autonomous mode of operation, the weapon travels along a predetermined flight path using onboard GPS sensors.
In the man-in-the-loop mode, the weapon is remotely controlled by a single operator from the ground station through an advanced integrated line-of-sight data link.
The two-way communication link transmits sensor data to the ground control station in real-time over a range of 40km-150km. The ISR data collected by the sensors will provide increased situational awareness to all military forces.
When the mission is aborted, the munition can automatically re-enter the loitering mode to engage another target or return to its control station using a parachute.
Performance of Hero-400EC weapon
Powered by a quiet electrical motor, the Hero-400EC extended-range loitering system can engage targets from a maximum altitude of 18,000ft.
The precision-guided weapon can fly at speeds ranging from 50kt to 150kt and remain in air for up to 120 minutes.
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