The Israeli Army has been actively seeking to augment Army ground combatants with accessible, capable Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) apart from those already serving through the Israeli Air Force (IAF) today. As urban fighting is at the center of Israeli warfare these days, it makes sense to keep and on-call fleet of UAVs to assist ground forces in locating and neutralizing enemy assets so as to not have to rely on support from the IAF. One of the candidates intended to broaden the tactical reach of the Israeli Army is the "ROTEM L" by Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The ROTEM L is described as a tactical-level, expendable "loitering munition" built in a compact and lightweight form for portability on the modern battlefield. It is a multi-rotor "quad-copter" development set to serve in the precision munitions-delivery role as related to close quarters combat - a crucial role in urban fighting. The quad-copter arrangement allows the ROTEM L to hover (loiter) over designated areas as needed for up to 45 minutes while looking for targets-of-opportunity and fly as fast as 50 knots (57.5 mph) to where it is needed. Typical operating range is out to 1,500 meters (about 10,000 meters maximum) and the air system can be made ready-to-fly in under one minute. Its operation relies on a sole infantryman though it is capable of autonomous flight - still requiring the soldier "in-the-loop" for making those critical engagement decisions. It can engage both stationary and moving targets with equal lethality.
Beyond its attack role, the air vehicle can outfitted with the usual ISR (Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance) gear to serve as a general reconnaissance platform and provide real time High-Definition (HD) information to ground combatants (by way of a hand-held tablet) through an Electro-Optical / InfraRed (EO/IR) camera fit.
The ROTEM L's lethal payload is 2 x one kilogram warheads. Attack precision is within one meter of the targeted area and the system is expended during the attack. The ROTEM L is designed to run as silently as possible (thanks to its electric drive) so as to maintain the advantage against an unsuspecting enemy and, by its relatively compact size, has a low battlefield signature.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Electric motor driving a quad-copter arrangement.
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