South Africa’s largest defence company, Denel (Hall A, Stand 261), has brought a range of its products to Indo Defence, including its latest unmanned air vehicle.
The Hungwe is a small UAV intended for both civilian and military use. While an earlier Denel project with the same name had a blended wing/body layout, the new Hungwe is a more conventional twin-boom vehicle that draws on the configuration of the company’s larger Seeker II.
Denel’s Dynamics division is responsible for the company’s UAV programmes and it first flew the new-look Hungwe in early 2014. Weighing 35kg at take-off and with a wings p a n of 4m, the Hungwe carries a 5kg payload comprising a daylight TV and infrared sensors in a single turret. Operational ceiling is 12,000ft.
The vehicle is intended for rapid deployment – in about 30 minutes – and can be transported aboard a one-tonne commercial vehicle. The ground control segment is packaged into a two-console laptop-based system, with one for the vehicle controller and one for the sensor operator.
Hungwe has a 100km line-of-sight radius of action and can loiter for three hours at that radius. Total endurance is six hours. Hungwe is being developed to operate in civilian airspace, which is currently denied to UAVs in South Africa. Denel Dynamics is working with the South African civil aviation authority to clear the UAV for such operations.
As well as military duties, Hungwe is aimed at operators that could use a long-endurance UAV for duties such as border or pipeline surveillance, anti-poaching patrols, anti-piracy and law enforcement.