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Milkor 380 UAV makes maiden flight

Five Milkor 380 UAVs are in production. (Milkor)

The Milkor 380 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has made its maiden flight, the company announced on 6 October.

Speaking to Janes, a representative of South Africa-based Milkor said the flight took placeon 19 September at a classified location in South Africa and a series of flights have taken place since then.

The aircraft used Global Positioning System (GPS) waypoint navigation during the flight and was fitted with an electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) payload, the information and video from which was transferred through a C-band datalink to the ground control station, the official added.

The 1,300 kg UAV has an endurance of 30 hours and operating ceiling of 30,000 ft; Milkor intends to extend the endurance to 35 hours. The aircraft is powered by a four-stroke, four-cylinder turbocharged Rotax 915 iS engine, and is expected to achieve a maximum speed of 250 km/h and cruising speed of 150 km/h.

Another Milkor representative said the taxi tests were under way as of February 2023 and that further tests will expand the flight envelope and see the integration of additional payloads. These tests are planned to take place through the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 and continue into Q1 2024. Five UAVs are in production and will be delivered to undisclosed international customers in 2024.

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