AAD 2022: Hensoldt launches production-ready ASTUS UAS

by Akshara Parakala

Hensoldt South Africa officially launched a production-ready model of its ASTUS TUAS at the Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2022 expo in Pretoria. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Hensoldt South Africa (SA), part of German sensor maker Hensoldt, officially launched a production-ready model of its ASTUS tactical unmanned aerial systems (TUASs) at the Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2022 expo in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September.

ASTUS unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), developed from 2017 by Tellumat South Africa (acquired by Hensoldt in 2021), has been modified to improve the sensor technology and flight management system to match the requirements of the market. The UAS has been fitted with the latest ARGOS-8 lightweight airborne surveillance and targeting system, which itself was launched at the AAD 2022 expo.

Speaking to Janes at the expo, Willie Malan, product manager unmanned aircraft systems (UASs), Hensoldt SA, said, “The ASTUS is designed as a persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance [ISR] platform, and with the integration of gimbal-stabilised ARGOS-8, the UAS will be able to operate as an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance [ISTAR] platform.”


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DVD 2022: MSI unveils Terrahawk VSHORAD system

by Christopher Petrov

MSI unveiled the Terrahawk VSHORAD counter-UAS concept at DVD 2022. (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

MSI Defence Systems unveiled the Terrahawk flatbed-based very short-range air-defence (VSHORAD) system at the Defence Vehicle Dynamics (DVD) 2022 event held at the Millbrook Proving Ground on 21 and 22 September. The system is designed to counter small aerial targets, including unmanned aerial systems (UASs), while also retaining capabilities to engage low-flying fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft.

The main armament of the Terrahawk is the 30 mm Mk 44 Bushmaster II autocannon with up to 200 rounds of ready ammunition fed using a dual feed. Programmable air-burst rounds are the most effective munition in service to counter aerial targets, according to MSI. The main armament is mounted on a remotely operated weapon station (ROWS) from MSI's naval range of ROWS. The company can change the cannon type used and offers the possibility of mounting a missile pod that can house a Thales Lightweight Multirole Missile (LMM), substantially increasing the effective range of the system against aerial targets.


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AAD 2022: Norinco Sky Saker FX400A in service with PLAAF

by Akshara Parakala

Having completed trials in 2021, the Sky Saker FX400A UCAV is now in PLAAF service. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) has confirmed the Sky Saker FX400A tactical unmanned combat aerial vehicle's (UCAV's) entry into the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) service.

A scale model was displayed at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 exhibition in Pretoria, which was held from 21 to 25 September. Speaking to Janes at the expo, an official who declined to be identified said that the UCAV had completed trials in 2021 and is operationally deployed.

The official declined to reveal the command or the base fielding the UCAV, but said that it is deployed in an armed configuration, carrying at least two Blue Arrow 7 anti-tank missile systems.

According to details released by Norinco, the platform is smaller than the previously deployed Sky Saker FX500. The UCAV is said to provide tactical-level intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), including target designation and strike capabilities. It features a high tapered-wing, boom-mounted H-tail,tricycle fixed landing gear,


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AAD 2022: Milkor showcases fully loaded 380 UCAV

by Akshara Parakala

The fully loaded Milkor 380 UCAV was showcased for the first time at AAD 2022. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

South African-based Milkor showcased a fully loaded prototype of its 380 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) 2022 expo held in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September.

Ghaazim Rylands, CEO of Milkor Integrated Systems, a division of Milkor for manufacture and integration of the Milkor 380 UCAV, told Janes on 22 September that “the first prototype is undergoing ground testing and integration with various ammunition using five hardpoints, and the second prototype is currently being manufactured”.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/aad-2022-hensoldt-launches-production-ready-astus-uas

Hensoldt South Africa (SA), part of German sensor maker Hensoldt, officially launched a production-r...

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