India Set to Buy More Harop Suicide Drones


The HAROP is a standoff loitering attack weapon system designed to locate and precisely attack targets.

The HAROP loitering missile (LM) type platform which serves as an Electro-Optically guided attack weapon. HAROP LMs are launched from ground-based launchers and controlled via a two-way data link for full man-in-the-loop operation.

Harop is a loitering munition (LM) system developed in Israel by the MBT missiles division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The unmanned combat aerial vehicle is also known as the Harpy-2 loitering munitions missile. The drone loiters over the battlefield and attacks the targets by self-destructing into them.

The Harop unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has been developed from the Harpy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), also developed by the IAI. This combat drone was unveiled in India at the Aero-India show in February 2009.

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The Indian Air Force is planning to acquire 15 more Harop suicide from IAI, local media reported earlier this week.

“A proposal to acquire these attack drones is expected to be discussed by the Defense Ministry at a high-level meeting in the coming week to strengthen the fleet of such drones in the Air Force,” ANI cited defense sources as saying.

According to the report, India has already purchased more than 100 of these UAVs over the years.

Moreover, the two countries are reportedly also discussing “Project Cheetah” that includes the upgrading of nearly all Indian UAVs, which would be turned into high-quality attack drones with enhanced surveillance capabilities.

Meanwhile, the times of India reports that New Delhi is close to approving a deal for two more Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft with ELTA radars. The deal is estimated at over $800 million.

India already has a number of the Harop drones developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), having purchased 10 of them in September 2009 in a deal worth some $100 million.

Harop loitering munition orders and deliveries

In September 2009, the Indian Air Force (IAF) purchased ten Harops from IAI under a $100m contract.

During the same month, Germany purchased an undisclosed number of the Harop loitering munition systems from IAI. The German variant will be developed in cooperation with Rheinmetall Defence for the German Armed Forces. The German Ministry of Defence (MoD) had earlier funded the development of Harop according to their specific requirements. The UCAV has also been ordered by the Israeli armed forces.

Turkey is reported to be the launch customer of the expendable UCAV in 2005 with a $100m contract. White Hawk, the UK version of Harop, was a finalist in the UK’s loitering munition capability demonstration (LMCD) programme in October 2005.

IAI completed a series of flight demonstrations and operational tests of the Harop loitering munition for its customers in the first half of 2015. The demonstrations involved evaluation of Harop’s performance capabilities including observation, target destruction, flight altitude, manoeuvring and loitering.

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General characteristics

Crew: None

Length: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)

Wingspan: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)


Range: 1000 km ( miles)

Endurance: 6 hours  0 min

23 kg (51 lb) warhead


The Harop navigates and loiters in the combat area after it is launched from a vehicle-mounted container.

When the signals are exposed, it strikes the spot target immediately before its activation. The LM can operate in two guidance modes.

The Harop anti-radar homing system allows it to attack the radio-emitting and moving targets. A non-emitting target such as shutdown radars and suspected ballistic missile sites are detected by the electro-optical sensor of the RF seeker. It allows the operator to attack these targets, which are not detected by the automated homing system.

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The Harop attacks the enemy targets with an onboard explosive of 23kg (51lb). It can automatically search, detect and accurately attack the mobile or static targets at long range. It detects the strong pulses transmitting from communication targets such as missile radars and collides with the source.

It can be deployed in urban warfare, high-intensity and low-intensity conflicts and counter-terror missions. The targets include high-velocity mobile enemy missiles, and moving and time-critical targets at sea or land such as radars and hideouts.
The forces are also working on developing indigenous combat drones which would be deployed on both the China and Pakistan border once the project is complete.

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