Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has been awarded a contract by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to develop and deliver a new hybrid electro-optically-guided missile.
IAI’s Point Blank is said to answer 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. According to IAI, the missile allows the units to attack a variety of targets in real time with great precision and high lethality, without the need for support. The missile is hand-launched, operated by a single soldier, carried in a backpack, and can take off from and land vertically back to, the soldier’s hand.
Point Blank weighs about 15 lbs, and is about 3 ft long. The missile can fly at altitudes of above 1,500 ft, at a maximum speed of 178 mph (186 kph) and can hover or loiter in the air while the targets nature and exact position is confirmed prior to attack. In addition, the missile can carry electro-optical systems to validate and collect surveillance information in real time, and it is also being developed to be equipped with a warhead to destroy the target.
The multi-million-dollar contract, awarded by the Irregular Warfare Technical Support Directorate (IWTSD) of the US Department of Defense, will see IAI develop and deliver ROC-X, a version of the Point Blank system that meets specific DoD requirements for the purpose of increasing the organic precision strike lethality and survivability of small tactical teams. IAI will provide the first prototypes and training to DoD for Operational Testing & Evaluation in FY 23.
IAI’s Executive VP Systems, Missiles & Space Group, Guy Bar Lev said: “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. 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. IAI continues to develop and improve a wide range of offensive systems which provide precision operational solutions, and stands firmly to support our US customers.”