We've all seen news articles about hobbyist quadcopter drones. Now there's a military version with a bang.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has introduced a new series of new loitering munitions, including a small grenade-carrying quadrotor designed for urban operations.
The Rotem L can carry an 1kg (2.2lb) warhead which consists of two grenades that cause the unmanned vehicle to explode on contact. The warhead can be swapped for a surveillance payload.
Up to three systems can be carried by infantrymen, and it has a beyond-line-of-sight 5nm (10km) communications range and 30min endurance. The Rotem L also contains an acoustic sensor for increased detection.
Loitering munitions are typically fixed-wing, fast-flying systems, so the rotary-wing configuration represents a novel design approach.
There's more at the link.
Here's a video showing the Rotem L in operation. Its ability to detect and close on a target is shown, but without the explosive warhead being detonated.
Looks interesting . . . and a bit worrying. If IAI can produce this for sale to its customers, how long will it be before a terrorist-supporting state like Iran can do likewise? It's already supplying more conventional military drones to its terrorist clients like Hezbollah in Lebanon. And what sort of havoc could ensue if terrorists use this sort of weapon to target political or business leaders?