Nano-Scale Aerial Munitions for U.S. Military

SpearUAV's VIPER provides warfighters with an effective organic aerial munition against a variety of targets By Mike Ball / 11 Oct 2022

VIPER loitering munitionsLeonardo DRS has confirmed that its Land Systems business unit has entered into an agreement with SpearUAV to develop a version of Spear’s VIPER nano-scale aerial munition for the US market. Under the terms of the agreement, DRS and Spear are adapting the VIPER aerial munition to meet the emerging requirements of multiple US military customers.

Spear developed VIPER rapidly in response to lessons learned during recent major conflicts. The vertical-launch quad-rotor VIPER provides warfighters at the tactical edge with an affordable, simple-to-use, and effective organic aerial munition against a variety of targets, including those in defilade.

Small aerial munitions like VIPER are revolutionizing small unit tactics by putting precision lethality literally in the hands of the individual warfighter. VIPER provides organic, responsive, precision fires at the squad level, allowing operators to destroy immediate threats like enemy snipers and RPG teams without relying on higher-level assets. The delivery accuracy possible with VIPER also minimizes collateral damage in complex urban terrain.

This partnership leverages Leonardo DRS’ extensive platform integration and payload development experience with SpearUAV’s technological synergies for the US Defense market.

Aaron Hankins, Senior VP / General Manager of DRS Land Systems, commented: “We continue to prioritize investments to meet critical unit capability gaps and user-identified requirements. We then design, build and test integrated solutions that are mature, affordable, and rapidly available to meet accelerated customer demands. We recognized Spear as a leading-edge AI and unmanned technology company, and we are very excited about this new partnership. VIPER expands our current sUAS efforts and brings a much-needed lethal munition capability to warfighters now.”

Gadi Kuperman, CEO of SpearUAV, noted: “We want to provide the user with the ability to treat VIPER the same way they would any other piece of combat equipment or munition, such as a bullet or a grenade. It’s a battlefield tool; it’s ready and meant to be used at any time and without hesitation. And that could be for an infantry soldier or for land or naval platform crews.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact