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IAI Harpy

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IAI Harpy at Paris Air Show 2007
Role Loitering Munition
National origin Israel/South Africa
Manufacturer IAI
First flight 1989
Variants IAI Harop

The IAI Harpy is a loitering munition missile produced by Israel Aerospace Industries. The Harpy is designed to attack radar systems and is optimised for the suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) role. It carries a high explosive warhead. The Harpy has been sold to several foreign nations, including South Korea, India and China.

Design and development[edit]

In the late 1980s, Kentron sold the designs for its ARD-10 loitering drone to IAI. IAI then used those designs to develop the Harpy which was first tested in 1989.[1]

In 2004, the Harpy became the focus of the effort by the United States to restrict arms transfers and the sales of advanced military technology to China. Sold to China in 1994 for around US$55 million, the loitering munitions were returned to Israel in 2004 under contract to be upgraded. The United States, fearing that the Harpy would pose a threat to Taiwanese and American forces in the case of a war with China,[2] demanded that Israel seize the loitering munitions and nullify the contract. According to Israel, the Harpy is an indigenously designed loitering munition, and does not contain any US-produced sub-systems.[3] In 2005, the loitering munitions were returned to China without being upgraded. This incident chilled relations between the United States and Israel, with Israel being suspended from its status as Security Cooperative Participant in the Joint Strike Fighter program. However, on 6 November 2005, Israel stated that it has been re-admitted into the program.[4]



General characteristics

  • Length: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 2.1 m (6 ft 11 in)
  • Gross weight: 135 kg (298 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × UEL AR731 Wankel rotary engine, 28 kW (38 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 185 km/h (115 mph, 100 kn)
  • Range: 200 km (120 mi, 110 nmi)


  • 1 × 32 kg (70 lb) high-explosive warhead

Mini Harpy[edit]

Data from IAI[5][6][7]

General characteristics

  • Length: 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 2.9 m (9 ft 6 in)
  • Gross weight: 41 kg (90 lb)
  • Loitering speed: 55–85 kn (102–157 km/h; 63–98 mph)
  • Operational altitude: 304–1,524 m (997–5,000 ft)


  • Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn)
  • Range: 100 km (62 mi, 54 nmi)
  • Endurance: 2 hours


  • Warhead: up to 17 lb (7.7 kg)
  • CEP: <1 m (3 ft 3 in)

Triple-homing capabilities - utilizing anti-radiation, electro-optical day and electro-optical night seekers


Map with IAI Harpy users in blue

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "South African heritage". Air Forces Monthly. December 2022. p. 23.
  2. ^ Federman, Josef (12 June 2005). "Report: U.S. imposes sanctions against Israeli arms". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  3. ^ "USA and Israel in crisis over China Harpy deal". 4 January 2005. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^ Schiff, Ze'ev (22 December 2004). "Don't Return Drones to China, U.S. Tells Israel". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Mini Harpy Multi-Purpose Tactical Loitering Munition" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-10-31.
  6. ^ "Mini Harpy Multi-Purpose Tactical Loitering Munition". Archived from the original on 2020-10-31. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  7. ^ "Loitering Munitions - Meeting the Challenge of Time-Sensitive Targets". Archived from the original on 2020-10-31. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
  8. ^ Missiles, rockets and drones define Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, Seth J. Frantzman, The Jerusalem Post, October 4, 2020

External links[edit]