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IDEF 2023: GIDS details Shahpar III UAV

A model of GIDS' new MALE UAV – Shahpar III – on display at IDEF 2023. (Janes/Raghuraman CS)

Pakistan's state-owned defence conglomerate Global Industrial & Defence Solutions (GIDS) revealed further details of its new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – Shahpar III – at the 16th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) held in Istanbul from 25 to 28 July.

GIDS displayed a model of the Shahpar III at the exhibition and according to company information, the aircraft features enhanced endurance, weapon carriage capacity, and service ceiling over the earlier platforms in the Shahpar family of UAVs. The Shahpar III will have a maximum take-off weight of 1,650 kg and can carry multiple weapons on six underwing hardpoints. It will feature domestically developed avionics and be equipped with a dual-redundant flight control computer (1553 architecture), enhancing the aircraft's reliability.

Speaking to Janes, an official from GIDS said the development of Shahpar III is ongoing with a maiden flight planned towards the end of 2023.

The Shahpar III design features a central fuselage equipped with shoulder-mounted high aspect ratio trapezoidal wings with a span of 64 ft. The fuselage has a bulbous nose section to accommodate satellite communication (satcom) equipment and antenna for beyond-line-of-sight (LOS) communication up to 3,000 km. The LOS range of Shahpar III is given as 300 km. The UAV also features a chin-mounted common sensor payload turret and a ground datalink antenna in the underbelly section. It will have an internal payload carrying capacity of 165 kg, according to GIDS.

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