The Pentagon awarded Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) a contract to develop and deliver a new hybrid electro-optically-guided missile.
The company has now unveiled the hand-launched missile that can be carried in a soldier’s backpack will be known as “Point Blank.”
IAI, as prime contractor, was awarded the multi-million-dollar contract by the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) of the US Department of Defense (DoD) to deliver ROC-X, a version of the Point Blank system that meets specific US DoD requirements.
IAI is to provide the first prototypes and training to DoD for operational testing & evaluation in fiscal year 2023.
As explained by IAI, the missile answers the battlefield requirement to provide tactical units ranging in size from small tactical teams to battalion level with an independent and organic capability to increase their lethality.
Point Blank is designed to allow these units to attack a variety of targets in real time with precision and high lethality, without the need for support. The missile is hand-launched, operated by a single soldier, and can take off from and land vertically back to the soldier’s hand.
The system weighs about 15 lbs and is about 3 ft long. It can fly at altitudes above 1,500 ft, at a maximum speed of 178 mph (186 kph) and can hover or loiter in the air while the target’s nature and exact position is confirmed prior to attack.
It can stay in the air for 18 minutes before striking a target, but also features an abort option.
The missile can also carry electro-optical systems to validate and collect surveillance information in real time, and is also being developed to be equipped with a 2 kilogram warhead to destroy the target.
“Point Blank joins Israel Aerospace Industries’ family of missiles to provide ground-based tactical forces with more precise capabilities to undertake offensive operations especially against short-lived targets,” IAI’s executive VP Systems, Missiles & Space Group, Guy Bar Lev said.
“We wish to thank the IWTSD for its support and cooperation in the field of precision munitions, confirming, yet again, the importance of tactical missiles to the modern army.”