1/48 scratch-built "HAROP" loitering munition/drone

Gallery Article by PB on Aug 11 2017



"HAROP" loitering munition/drone by IAI + launcher IDF markings.

The IAI Harop (or IAI Harpy 2) is a "loitering munition drone" developed by the MBT division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). It is an anti-radar drone that can autonomously home in on radio emissions; (according to some sources, it is capable of hitting other targets, including mobile targets such as personnel trucks or command vehicles). Rather than holding a separate high-explosive warhead, the drone itself is the main munition. It is designed to loiter the battlefield (flying time of 6 hours). General characteristics: Length: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in); Wingspan: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in). Warhead is some 15-23kg of explosive charge (figure by sources vary).

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I found the "Harop" to be an interesting concept, as it is a munition-drone, a mix between an aircraft (drone) and an ordnance. But indeed I'm not quite sure how cost effective it really is, in my opinion, due to the small explosive payload (some 15-23kg of explosive charge) vs. cost of the overall munition (including onboard camera, nav links, engine, launcher etc).

I wanted the Harop drone in context, so I've scratchbuilt the launcher as well: Launcher canister group (1 single launcher system has 2 canisters), angled at 45 degrees, semi-fixed tripod style for ground launch, with 1 bay door opened and launching, and 2nd door closed. The drone launches and immediately its wing extremities deploy at full, and prop engine activates. 

Paints: launcher canister group is a lightened tan; and launcher tripod housing is tan, with simulated dirt/oil. Basic weathering and accentuate shading in some areas to simulate burn/smoke marks. Markings are left-over from other kits and basic warnings.


Photos and text by PB