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Dubai Airshow 2021: SAMI's AEC showcases indigenously designed BARIQ UAV

The AEC BARIQ VTOL UAV with a portable GCS at the Dubai Airshow 2021. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), a Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) company, exhibited its first iteration of indigenously developed vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) swarm-capable BARIQ unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Dubai Airshow 2021.

The BARIQ is a multirotor hybrid-powered small UAV developed to carry out intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), and cargo missions. The air vehicle (AV) is specifically designed to meet the long-range and high-endurance requirements of domestic customers.

The AV has a diameter of 2 m featuring six detachable arms, housing electric motors with lithium polymer batteries on each, powering the fixed-pitch two-bladed propellers. The central mast is attached with arms, two landing skids, an electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) turret, and a two-stroke single-cylinder internal combustion (IC) engine. The engine is coupled with an electric power generator to support the forward flight and electronic warfare (EW) payload requirements. The electric motors support autonomous VTOL and mission segments, which need quick manoeuvring and high-power consumption to compensate for the lag in the IC engine.

The AV is built using lightweight carbon fibre with a payload capability of 15 kg, has a maximum speed of 80 km/h, an endurance of 5 h with no payload, and up to 3 h with a 12 kg payload. The AV flies at a maximum altitude of 9,000 ft with a communication range of 150 km, and has a wing resistance of 28 km/h. Additionally, BARIQ can operate in dual-frequency modes (ultra-high frequency and very-high frequency) and support beyond line-of-sight operations using satellite communication and a portable ground control station (GCS). The video link and telemetry data are both encrypted.

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