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Brazilian Akaer develops multirole UAV

The Albatross UAV can conduct maritime patrol and surveillance; search-and-rescue; electronic warfare; mapping; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; communications relay; and attack roles. (Akaer Engenharia)

The privately owned Brazilian aerospace company Akaer Engenharia has developed the Albatross family of multimission, multipayload, medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicles (MALE UAVs).

Akaer, partnered with SENAI CIMATEC research institute and Stella Tecnologia, conducted a conceptual study of the Albatross after a 2019 request by a Middle East and North Africa military customer for a long-range search-and-rescue (SAR) and maritime patrol UAV, the company's chief operations officer, Fernando Coelho Ferraz, told Janes on 20 July.

The UAV is made of composite materials and with minimum International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)-controlled items, and maximum use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, Ferraz told Janes .

The Albatross platform can be tailored to meet customers' requirements, senior vice-president of business and marketing at Akaer, Aldo da Silva Junior, told Janes .

Standard fittings include an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, communications for line-of-sight and beyond line-of-sight control, inertial navigation system, Global Positioning System, attitude and heading reference system, retractable landing gear, automatic take-off and landing system, and autopilot. Propulsion consists of two 115 hp BRP-Rotax 914F four-stroke gasoline engines with propellers.

Three payload modular bays, which combined have a total volume of 1,079 litres, are available to accommodate a variety of payloads including: inverse synthetic aperture radar, synthetic aperture radar, electronic warfare suite, and automatic identification system.

External wing hardpoints can deploy lightweight torpedoes and launchers for loitering ammunition. In the SAR configuration, the compartments can deploy rescue gear, including a rescue boat.

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