WDS: Milkor UCAV shows its teeth

South Africa’s largest UAV, the Milkor 380 is making itself known at WDS wearing full Royal Saudi Air Force markings, and carrying an array of advanced weapons.

South Africa’s largest UAV, the Milkor 380. Image: BillyPix

Known as the Milkor UCAV in this armed form, the aircraft is ITAR-free, and has a ‘payload agnostic’ systems architecture, allowing the integration of weapons from any source.

The aircraft can undertake various intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) roles with payloads including Sigint/Comint systems, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), inverse synthetic aperture radar (ISAR) and an under-nose Wescam MX-15 electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) gimble.

For armed missions, the aircraft can carry 400kg under the fuselage and 230kg under each wing.

The aircraft at the show carries an Al Tariq-X glide bomb under the centreline. Al Tariq-X is a kit that can be fitted to US Mk 81 and Mk 82 series bombs, with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) guidance, GNSS with semi-active laser and GNSS with imaging infrared (including automatic target recognition) guidance, and with sophisticated GPS anti-jamming solutions.

The aircraft also carries Desert Sting 25 glide weapons underwing, although it can also be armed with Halcon Desert Sting missiles or Thales FZ602 rocket launchers – both on dual racks.

Powered by a turbocharged piston engine running on Avgas or Mogas, the aircraft has a maximum endurance of 35 hours and a range of more than 2,000km, and is certifiable allowing autonomous flight even in unsegregated civil airspace.