MILAN — Israeli manufacturer UVision tested its Hero-120 loitering munition for the first time in the Arctic, as company officials say they are looking to expand their footprint in the region.
Earlier this year, in a location the company did not disclose, where temperatures reached below -20 degrees Celsius, UVision conducted a series of flight missions to assess the capabilities of the Hero-120 loitering munition under extreme weather conditions.
During the tests, the system carried photographic sensors and infrared cameras as payloads, and some flights were conducted at night time, a company representative told Defense News.
The official added that the demonstration, which was attended by members from several defense forces with Arctic warfare capabilities, was an initiative driven by requests and interest of potential customers of the explosive drone.
None of the Nordic countries are known to currently operate any of the Hero systems, but are regular customers of Israeli weapons.
Most recently, Finland contracted German-Israeli arms provider Eurospike for anti-tank missiles, and the country received approval from the U.S. to buy the David’s Sling air defense system. Norway also issued a tender notice in January looking to acquire small, tactical unmanned aerial systems.
Further testing of the company’s systems in the region are in the cards, as “it is in our R&D roadmap to not only enhance the capabilities of the Hero-120, but also to adjust additional members of the Hero family for operation in Arctic conditions,” the representative said.
According to the company, the result of the evaluation found that the Hero-120 is effective in combat situations in the Arctic environment and compliant with storage and transportation equipment.
The harsh-weather operation effectiveness addressed not only the specific needs of military forces operating in the region, but also the broader north and east of Europe, a UVision press release stated.
Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in reporting on the aviation sector. She is based in Milan, Italy.