Textron Defense Systems has completed a demonstration of its BattleHawk Squad-Level Loitering Munition for the US Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF).
The demonstration was conducted at Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center in Socorro, New Mexico, US.
The REF testing highlighted several system enhancements, incorporated into the BattleHawk system, since its launch as the Tactical Remote Aerial Munition (T-RAM) in 2011, according to the company.
The enhancements include improved manoeuvrability in mountainous terrain, moving target tracking during terminal guidance manoeuvres, as well as integration of upgraded dual, high-resolution digital cameras for more precise target detection and tracking.
Textron Defense Systems senior vice president and general manager, Ellen Lord, said the BattleHawk system meets the army's specified requirements such as effective performance, affordability, simple operation, minimal training and immediate applicability to warfighter needs.
"We have listened to our customer in designing and refining the system, and the results are self evident in the product's performance during the recent demonstration. We continue development of the system with the end-user's needs in mind," Lord said.
During the testing, the system's ability to implement the operator's pre-programmed flight path to meet the evolving battlefield conditions requirements was also demonstrated.
According to the company, the range provided an operationally realistic environment for a range of mission scenarios, including non-line-of-sight target prosecution and stand-off attack across a mountain peak.
Designed for launch from open or defilade position, the BattleHawk squad-level loitering munitions is a backpack-carried, tube-launched system developed to offer precision lethal effects against personnel and light vehicle targets in irregular environments.
Operators can also identify and counter threats from a safe standoff distance even across mountaintops due to the system's enhanced situational awareness capabilities, despite lacking direct line of sight.
Textron also displayed BattleHawk at 2012 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC), being conducted in Tampa, Florida, US.