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IDEX 2023: SRB and Collins Aerospace unveil Abqaiq M2DO UAS

SRB Aerial Systems Abqaiq M2DO UAS with Revenger loitering munitions. (Janes/Akshara Parakala)

Saudi Arabia's SRB Aerial Systems and its technology partner Collins Aerospace unveiled the Abqaiq family of long-range unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) at IDEX 2023 in Abu Dhabi.

According to SRB, the UASs have been developed for multidomain operations. Major General (retd) Ahmed Al-Jehani, CEO of SRB, told Janes, “While Abqaiq is a patent-pending family of UAS, the M2DO [variant] can deliver Group 4/5 capabilities in an attritable and long-range Group 3 tactical UAS.”

As shown at IDEX, the Abqaiq M2DO serves as a mother ship carrying two loitering munitions on each wing that can be replaced by other air launched effects, based on mission requirements. The UAS can also be equipped with synthetic aperture radars, maritime radars, and electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensors, among other payloads, for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.

Speaking to Janes, Mark Roberts, Saudi Arabia country director, Mission Systems, Collins Aerospace said, “Collins Aerospace supports SRB as a technology partner to help SRB achieve success under ‘Saudi Vision 2030'. The joint venture also supports future flight demonstrations.”

The Abqaiq M2DO UAS has been developed to undertake medium/low-altitude tactical ISR, precision-strike, and close air support missions. It features a modular airframe to simplify the installation and removal of fuselage-, nose-, and belly-mounted payloads. The hybrid-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL)-capable UAS has a fuselage pod, tilt rotors fitted at the tips of strut-braced high-mounted straight wings, and leading-edge strakes. It also includes mid-mounted, low-tapered canards (with inset control surfaces), and booms extending from the inboard wing sections ending in inwardly canted tails and a two-bladed rotor facing in a downward direction.

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