Israel Aerospace Industries has successfully completed a series of helicopter firing demonstrations of the Laser Homing Anti-Tank (LAHAT) missiles in which the missile successfully engaged targets at extended ranges.

The recent demonstration comprised eight successful launches, carried out against stationary and moving targets, at ranges of up to 10 km, and altitudes of 300 to 6,000 feet. Missiles were fired from helicopters in both moving and hovering positions. The tests included firing at direct fire and Non Line Of Sight (NLOS), with engagement at extended range using the helicopter’s observation capability with remote laser designation by a ground unit.

The Heliborne LAHAT comprises IAI’s MOSP3000D observation payload with designation capabilities, a Weapons Control System (WCS), and two quad-pack missile launchers. In October 2013 IAI announced an award of a “substantial contract” for the delivery of LAHAT missile systems, to be used as a primary weapon system for combat helicopters.

In the late 1990s and mid-2000s, with the IDF and other military forces began focusing on “aerial dominance,” the LAHAT missile was adapted to airborne platforms, with the development of the lightweight Quad Launcher and helicopter weapon system. The missile was tested on several airborne platforms, including such assault, scout and attack helicopters as the AH-1 Cobra, Mi-8/17, MD530 and the Indian Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH Druhv). The current contract is likely to be the first production of the missile.

Originally developed as an anti-tank guided weapon, the LAHAT is offered with a range of mission-customized warheads. It is particularly suitable for as a helicopter-carried weapon, as the lightweight missiles and their associated launcher do not adversely affect the aircraft’s effective mission time. The lightweight system enables the LAHAT System to be adapted to most all helicopter types, including light scouts. LAHAT can be ship-, vehicle- and tank-mounted too.