Partner 2023 | Viatacom Institute showcases vILA 1 and vILA 2 long-range loitering munitions
Defence Redefined
Published on 27/09/2023 at 15:50

At the Defence and Security exhibition Partner 2023 in Belgrade, Viatacom, a private research institute, exhibited mock-ups of two long-range loitering munitions, the vILA 1 and vILA2.

As a Research and Development Centre, the Viatacom Institute is fully involved in military R&D and is currently active in the development of new long-range loitering munitions. The institution brings projects up to the trial phase, whereas production is then assigned to national industries. 

According to the Institute, the difference between the two weapon systems lies mostly in their use, as the vILA 1 (Viatacom Integrated Loitering Ammunition) is designed to be ground- or surface-launched, while the vILA 2 is air-launched.

Also read: LAWS systems | The Mini-Harpy loitering munition

The core elements of the missile system, the guidance system, and the warhead, are common in both variants, albeit some control software might have to be partially rewritten. The vILA loitering munitions are guided onto the target area by leveraging inertial navigation, GNSS, and radar altimeter systems. 

Once in the terminal phase, that is, when the system starts loitering over the target area in search of its target, an electro-optic sensor is activated which carries out autonomous target recognition thanks to Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms. 

Along with that, there is also a man-in-the-loop mode, as a two-way datalink allows the operator at the ground control station to validate the target before the vILA switches to the attack phase. 

Particularly, the vILA 1 variant can be launched from a cylindrical canister that can be mounted either on an 8×8 wheeled chassis or integrated on a vessel. Without a booster, the loitering munition is 5.5 meters long and it features a wingspan of 2.7 meters. Its propulsion system is based on a turbojet engine that is activated after the booster-assisted launch. 

The system has a cruise speed of Mach 0,75. As for its operational altitude, the system has a minimum altitude of 50 meters and a maximum altitude of over 7,000 meters.

As for the vILA 2, it has a length of 4.5 meters, while the wingspan and the operational altitude remain the same. Concerning its cruise speed, this is slightly higher, between Mach 0.75 and 0.8. 

Both systems have an operational range of 300 km, to which loitering time must be added. As for the weight specifications, exact figures are not yet available at this stage of development. However, according to preliminary estimations, the vILA 1 should be around 1,000 kg, whereas the vILA 2 is estimated to be 750-800 kg. Both of them shall carry a 300 kg warhead.

The two systems are considered to be fully developed in three years’ time.

Also read: Anduril Industries | Announces the development of AI loitering munitions – VIDEO




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