Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled the Rotem Alpha, a tactical vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone equipped with a powerful anti-tank warhead.
First unveiled during the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) forum held in London Sept. 9-12, the Rotem Alpha loitering munition enables tactical units to deploy surveillance and armored vehicle destruction capabilities quickly and easily.
IAI reports that Rotem Alpha has a high autonomy both in the air and stationary in ” perch mode”. It can fly and hover at low altitude to gain situational awareness and execute an attack, despite adverse weather conditions. The Rotem Alpha’s sensor suite autonomously detects and locates hostile enemy fires, such as artillery, rockets and missile launchers, and then investigates and undertakes a direct attack using its day and night electro-optical seeker.
The Rotem Alpha is portable and can be carried on a soldier’s back, but can also be deployed from a vehicle. Carried in a backpack or deployed from a vehicle (including river or marine units), this loitering munition is ready for takeoff in less than two minutes. As a VTOL platform, it can be launched and landed between trees, structures and other difficult terrain.
A single operator is sufficient to control one of these drones, via a Ground Control System (GCS). The operator can command the ROTEM Alpha to hover over a building or a hill until the enemy pokes its head out, and then ambush it by surprise.
The ROTEM Alpha can fly over a given area, search for the target and wait for the operator’s command to attack. If no target is chosen or the operator decides to abort, the ROTEM Alpha is recoverable.
According to the manufacturer’s data, the Rotem Alpha’s shaped charge + shrapnel warhead can penetrate heavy tank armor (600mm RHS), and can remain airborne for 1 hour, or up to 24 hours when in ambush position on the ground, waiting for the enemy to appear.