IAI HAROP gallery

Harop UCAV (Unmanned combat aerial vehicle) was developed between 2001 and 2003, but was kept secret, as is often the case with Israeli weapons, until 2009 when it was first seen in public at the biennial Aero India air show. This UCAV is a larger and more modern version of the IAI Harpy UAV system, which is why some media also call it “Harpy 2“, although this is not an official designation. Although it has been designed mainly to carry out attack missions, it can also carry out reconnaissance and surveillance missions thanks to its great endurance and range.
The Harop UCAV is programmed on the ground from the ground control station (GCS) to fly autonomously to a predetermined area where it begins to “loitere”. The flight is supervised by the operator, who can control several UCAVs during the same mission, thus being able to select one of them to carry out an attack while the others continue in flight waiting for other targets. This ability allows it to launch attacks immediately upon detecting any suddenly emerging threat.
The drones are launched from ground platforms, usually trucks equipped with several launching cells (canisters), although they can also be installed on naval platforms. They are controlled via a two-way data link and the operator can abort the mission at any time using “man-in-the-loop mode”, being able to assign another target to the same drone. The drone has an electro-optical (EO) and a forward looking infrared (FLIR) seeker in addition to a video camera installed in a small dome located under the nose that covers 360º around. With these devices detects, tracks and attacks fixed and moving targets from any horizontal or vertical angle.
With the Harop system, missions can be carried out completely autonomously without depending on any type of external assistance. It is launched with the help of a booster engine that shuts down once the UCAV is airborne, being then propelled by a motor that drives a two-bladed propeller. The maximum speed, the ceiling and the endurance is similar to that of the IAI Harpy (according to the manufacturer information) and regarding the range, despite the fact that all sources give it a range of about 1,000 km, the manufacturer gives it a “Communication Range” of 200 km, which makes it difficult to know its real range. Thanks to its small radar signature of only 0.5 m2 its detection is quite difficult when flying at high altitude since it can be easily confused with the signal emitted by large birds.
The IAI Harop drone is shaped like a futuristic delta-winged aircraft with two small wings at the front, giving it a strong resemblance to the ill-fated American XB-70 Valkyrie experimental bomber. Their dimensions and weight are very similar to the previous IAI Harpy drone and carry a single high explosive (HE) warhead in the nose, weighing from 16 to 23 kg, enough to destroy any vehicle, including battle tanks.
This system has been exported to Azerbaijan, India, Morocco, Turkey and Singapore. Germany acquired some Harop to use as a base for its own development, but the project was eventually cancelled. The first customer to have these UCAVs was Turkey, which received them in 2005. Shortly after, in 2007, it was India that decided to purchase this system, acquiring a first batch of 10 units, although it has subsequently acquired many more, estimating that it currently has a fleet of about 165, which are designated as “P-4” (on the image).
This suicide drone has been used in combat on more than one occasion by different countries. It seems that Morocco has used them in operations against the Polisario Front militias in Western Sahara. Israel managed to destroy a Syrian Pantsir (SA-22 Greyhound) air defense vehicle in May 2018, but the country that has most successfully used the IAI Harop has been Azerbaijan (on the image).
Azerbaijani Army’s Harop (on the image) were the firsts to use this loitering munition in combat in April 2016, during fighting against Armenian Forces in the 2016 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, also known as the “Four day war”. However, it was during the 2020 Second Nagorno-Karabakh War that this weapon became world famous after being seen in a multitude of videos destroying armored vehicles of all kinds, air defense vehicles, and battle tanks of the Armenian Army with total impunity. In fact, it is considered that a good part of the Azerbaijani victory can be attributed to the use of this suicide drone.

Entradas relacionadas