UVision USA, the US subsidiary of UVision Air, a global leader in aerial loitering systems, in collaboration with Axxeum, a full-service aviation integration facility, has announced the successful launch of its Hero 120 loitering munition system from an airborne helicopter. The capability was demonstrated during the EDGE 23 event in May 2023 at Yuma Proving Ground in Yuma, Arizona.
The trial showcased the system’s ability to complete a sensor-to-shooter cycle by launching the Hero 120 from a Bell 412EP helicopter to strike a ground target. The Hero 120 demonstrated safe separation, successfully launching from the helicopter while it was airborne. Several parameters were tested and proven successful during the trial, including launching from a safe altitude without endangering the helicopter, transferring tactical control between the on-board operator and the ground operator six times, pursuing the munition to a forward location, controlling the system within a 30-kilometer range from the helicopter, and effectively attacking a ground target over a 50-kilometer flight.
The successful launch was made possible through the cooperation between UVision USA and Axxeum. Axxeum designed a fully mechanical docking system for the single canister launcher, conducted all structural and load analysis, established safe flight envelopes, and operated Axxeum’s Bell 412 helicopter. This accurate modelling and integration allowing for electrically-triggered launches without the need for integration with the helicopter’s electrical systems or flight controls. This revolutionary solution enables safe launch and installation in any helicopter or aerial platform.
Successful demonstration of the Hero 120’s advanced capabilities. The company conducted extensive mechanical and aerodynamic analyses over five months to ensure the system’s performance and its impact on the helicopter were thoroughly tested. UVision works closely with various defense forces in the U.S., and this successful demonstration reaffirms confidence in the company’s advanced solutions.
Major General (Ret.) Avi Mizrachi , CEO of UVisionAir Ltd, the parent company of UVIsion USA
Oleg Sirbu, CEO of Axxeum, echoed the sentiments of Mr. Truxel. Sirbu was on board the Bell 412 during the first-ever aerial launch of the Hero 120. Following the trial, he said:
I am excited that Axxeum could play a key role in this collaborative program with UVision USA. The combined efforts brought forward a capability in five months that not many other companies could have completed. Axxeum’s experience in supporting major OEMs in rapid prototyping programs showcases our future together with UVision USA. I look forward to the ongoing success of the UVision platform and working with the US Government customer in future demonstrations for added capability of this tremendous system.