Paramount Group of South Africa and its partners in AHRLAC Holdings is ramping up its facility for production of the Advanced High Performance and Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) and its military variant, the MWARI.
The production ready aircraft (PDM), which follows on from the successful AHRLAC prototype (XDM) has a retractable landing gear, Martin Baker ejection seats, revised cockpit canopies, improved avionics and a 8G-rated airframe. PDM first flew on 14 July last year, since when it has undergone rigorous flight testing as the engineering team seeks to extend the flight envelope, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Production will be undertaken at a vertically integrated and modular factory located at Wonderboom International Airport Complex near Pretoria. Incorporating modern workflow processes and computerised shop floor management systems, the factory draws experience developed in the large scale production of components for Boeing and Airbus, according to the company.
The military variant of the AHRLAC is dubbed MWARI, can be fitted with customer-specified mission systems for the intelligence, reconnaissance and support (ISR) or close air support (CAS) roles.
“MWARI is designed for purpose - specifically for the kind of remote, hybrid ISR and CAS missions,” Ivor Ichikowitz, Paramount Group’s Executive Chairman said.
One of MWARI‘s other key features is an Interchangeable Multi-Mission Pod System (IMPS) under the aircraft’s cockpit. The interchangeable pod allows a single airframe to be used in multiple roles with nearly zero down time between role changes. The pod can carry various systems ranging from ELINT, COMINT, SAR, FLIR and cargo.