Leonardo DRS announced on October 6 that its Land Systems business unit in St. Louis, Missouri has entered into an agreement with SpearUAV Ltd. (Spear) of Israel 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 its vertical launch, quad-rotor Viper rapidly in response to lessons learned during recent major conflicts, namely the one triggered by Russia in Ukraine.
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. “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,” said Aaron Hankins, Senior VP / General Manager of DRS Land Systems. “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.”
SpearUAV CEO Gadi Kuperman added: “We want the provide the user 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.”