Africa Aerospace & Defence 2018

UAV family makes debut [AAD18D2]

20 September 2018

Milkor (Hangar 4, Stand W5) is displaying three new unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) for the first time at AAD. The trio of models covers a range of sizes, ranging from the 12m wing span MA 380 to the hand-launched MA 18. The family has only been developed recently, but all three have flown and are considered ready for production.

Largest of the family, the MA 380 has a 380kg maximum take-off weight (MTOW), of which up to 80kg can be payload.

Able to run on Avgas, Mogas or Jet A1 fuel, the MA 380 can reach an altitude of 18,000ft, although would typically cruise at 14,000ft, and has a maximum endurance of 20 hours. It is configured for dual-payload carriage, and is being displayed at AAD with a Hensoldt Argos electro-optical sensor turret.

Options include synthetic aperture radar, signals intelligence sensors and laser designator. Hard-points are available for weaponisation, and the UAV has a retractable undercarriage.

Occupying the niche below the MA 380 is the MA 80, which shares a similar T-tailed configuration with the larger vehicle, but has a 6m wingspan and 80kg MTOW. A 15kg payload capacity provides for the ability to carry a gimballed 'ball' sensor turret of up to 225mm diameter, compared with the 450mm capability of the MA 380.

Maximum and cruise altitudes for the MA 80 are 16,000ft and 10,000ft, respectively, while the MA 80 can stay aloft for more than 24 hours with a full fuel load of 20 litres.

Both of the UAVs can employ satellite communications for control and data relay, as well as line-of-sight links.

MA 18 is the hand-launched UAV, which is able to be disassembled for carriage in a backpack. It can be operated by a single soldier, with control being effected via a tablet device.

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