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Defense & Security 2023: ATIL unveils DP18A UCAV

The DP18A UCAV – developed by Thai firm ATIL – has a top speed of 200 km/h, an endurance of 12 hours, and an operation radius of 200 km. (Janes/Jon Grevatt)

Thai firm Aero Technology Industry Company Limited (ATIL) has unveiled a new X-tail unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at the Defense & Security 2023 exhibition in Bangkok.

The company said the DP18A UCAV is a “tactical attack UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] for reconnaissance, surveillance, [and] intelligence gathering” that can also provide “real-time strikes against enemy targets”.

An ATIL official told Janes that the UCAV prototype has been developed over the past year for the Royal Thai Armed Forces as a “cost-effective, fast, and manoeuvrable strike system”.

ATIL recently completed the development of the DP18A, and the company is now in discussion with the Thai military about potential procurement, the company official said.

Such a programme, which is expected to be supported through further testing by the Thai military, would initially encompass one DP18A system, which comprises four UCAVs and a ground control system.

The official said the DP18A is a follow-on programme to the company's DP16 UCAV. However, the official said the DP18A's X-tail design gives the aircraft enhanced stability, flexibility, and manoeuvrability compared with the DP16, which features a twin tailboom.

In addition, the DP18A can carry a maximum of six air-launched munitions. However, the DP18A unveiled at the Defense & Security show had four hardpoints. The DP16 can carry up to three missiles, ATIL said.

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