In a strategic move, IAI has inked two contracts valued at $145m (NIS543.23m) to supply advanced long-range loitering munitions, showcasing the demand for Israel’s industry despite the ongoing Israel-Palestine crisis. 

IAI has affirmed its position as a defence sector player by signing two agreements worth a combined $145m. The contracts, inked with two undisclosed countries, show the escalating global demand for long-range loitering munitions, marking a shift in modern warfare tactics.

The deals come on the heels of a contract earlier this year. Boaz Levy, president and CEO of IAI, emphasised these munitions’ critical role in achieving operational success on the battlefield worldwide. 

“The flexibility in strikes that can be achieved with a loitering munition is a major advantage in combat, and the type of precision reached is of strategic and national importance,” he said. “The latest orders emphasise the trust in IAI’s loitering munitions family in bringing the required advantages to each country respectively”.

According to GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Loitering Munitions (2023) report, IAI is currently and historically a leader in this space. This is set to remain the case, with growing performance in the large Asian market, including sales to South Korea. IAI and KAI signed an memorandum of understanding in October 2021 on an expanded loitering munitions programme.

Originating in the 1980s with the introduction of the HARPY, IAI’s family of long-range loitering munitions include the Harpy NG, Harop and Mini Harpy. The HARPY NG provides capabilities against a range of radiating targets.

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By GlobalData

The HAROP, a derivative of the Harpy, provides naval and land versions. Equipped with a day and night electro-optical seeker, the HAROP scans detect, identify and attack stationary and moving targets, addressing combat scenarios.

The MINI HARPY is a loitering munition with a triple seeker – electro-optical day, night and anti-radiation can operate in severe weather conditions. With electrical propulsion and an anti-tank warhead, the Mini HARPY is canister-launched.

The international community is recognising IAI’s contributions during Israel’s ‘Iron Swords’ war with Hamas.

Before the Israel-Palestine crisis, Estonia signed a strategic agreement with IAI for the procurement of long-range loitering munitions. The first deliveries are anticipated in 2024.