Jeremy Binnie, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
07 March 2016
07 March 2016
Boeing is to develop the mission system for the Paramount Group's Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), it was announced on 7 March.
Speaking at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi, Jeffrey Johnson, vice-president for business development at Boeing Military Aircraft, said the AHRLAC provided an opportunity for the US company to expand into the market for inexpensive platforms that can perform both the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and light-strike roles.
"Working with Paramount, we will not only bring a flexible, persistent, and affordable aircraft to the international market, but we will also be developing world-class technology in Africa," he said. He added that Boeing will help promote the AHRLAC in the international market.
Boeing will leverage its existing capabilities to build a mission system that will integrate the avionics and payload systems on the safety-and-security variant of the AHRLAC, as well as the weapons on the military version, which has been named Mwari after an all-seeing mythological being in Southern African folklore.
Paramount said the AHRLAC demonstrator aircraft has successfully undergone "full flight testing" since it first took to the air in August 2014 and that the second demonstrator is in final assembly.
It added that it is has begun building a new state-of-the-art factory in South Africa, where AHRLAC production will begin in 12 months. It said 10 aircraft a year will initially be produced, increasing to 20-24 as demand dictates.
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