ABU DHABI, UAE --- The Paramount Group, the African-based global defence and aerospace company, is today announcing that its MWARI “SMART” intelligence, reconnaissance and precision strike aircraft will be showcased at IDEX 2017 in Abu Dhabi following a large increase in customer demand.
The MWARI - the weaponised version of Paramount Group’s AHRLAC aircraft - is an intelligence gathering and precision strike aircraft, which carries the same surveillance, targeting, defensive and attack capabilities normally associated with a larger class and vastly more expensive aircraft.
The name ‘MWARI’ translates as ‘All-seeing Being’ in the African Shona language. The aircraft’s optical and electronic sensors offer a 30,000ft eagle eyed view of the world, whilst combining the technology and capabilities of reconnaissance aircraft and attack helicopters all in one aircraft.
The aircraft is a smart, innovative ‘command centre in the sky’ that integrates some of the world’s most advanced Multi-Function-Displays, Electro Optical Systems, Electronic Intelligence gathering and compact sensory equipment available in the world today. Combining this with the capability to carry a range of sophisticated precision strike weapons, MWARI is able to deliver precisely targeted surgical strikes against targets of opportunity, whilst minimising the risk of collateral damage usually associated with other systems.
The result is a two-seated intelligent aircraft that is perfectly suited to operating in The Middle East, with missions such as intelligence gathering, border and maritime patrol, policing, internal security and disaster management.
The MWARI includes features such as:
-- Built in electro optical sensors and electronic intelligence gathering equipment
-- Real-time time data fusion and on-board analysis of intelligence and targeting intelligence
-- Seamless communication and coordination of selected information to Command & Control Centres, other airborne platforms and ground forces
-- A conformal mission bay for rapid integration of intelligence gathering equipment
-- Precision strike capability with surgical accuracy, limiting collateral damage associated with bombs
-- Twenty-six hardpoints for electronic targeting pods, communications, self protection systems and precision targeted munitions
-- Day and night operations from rough and unprepared landing strips
-- All round and forward visibility, even with night vision goggles
-- Extended mission range and long loiter times
-- Extreme low operating cost
To meet the increasing global demand for real time airborne intelligence capability, Paramount Group and its partners are nearing the completion of a new state-of-the-art AHRLAC factory construction at the Wonderboom Airport Complex, north of Pretoria in South Africa. This 15,000m² factory will produce the AHRLAC unarmed base aircraft, with MWARI military aircraft and customised mission systems being integrated in a separate facility.
The new factory marks a pivotal point for Paramount Group as it will be the largest aircraft factory in Africa able to produce advanced, state-of-the-art aircraft of this sophistication.
Ivor Ichikowitz, founder and Executive Chairman of Paramount Group, said: “In an increasingly uncertain world, it is crucial for governments to provide stability to their citizens, industries and economies by adopting defence solutions that build security and support economic growth. In an era of asymmetrical conflicts the MWARI is a game changer and represents a unique solution to military, border guard and maritime security customers looking for a smart force multiplier in the sky, but at drastically reduced operating costs.
“It presents a highly sophisticated airborne command and control centre packed with the latest and most advanced sensors, enabling intelligence gathering, electronic intercept, real-time on-board data analysis, and day and night surgical strike capability to respond to a wide variety of threats, all in one aircraft. What the MWARI offers is the ability to gather intelligence, interpret it, relay data, co-ordinate operations and attack opportunity targets as appropriate, whilst operating from remote strips in harsh conditions. Our programme of continuous development is proving these capabilities in some of the harshest environments in the world.
“We aim to present our customers with the best defence solutions possible and now, with the Mwari as the latest addition to Paramount Group’s products, we can promote an unrivalled portfolio across the defence and aerospace sectors.”
Paramount Group extended its partnership with Boeing in 2016 to co-operate on the original AHRLAC aircraft. Boeing will be developing their own integrated mission system that supports ISR and light strike capabilities.
The first thing that stands out about the aircraft is the design; a high wing, ‘pusher’ propeller concept that provides clear all-round visibility for the two crew and aircraft sensors due to the absence of a front mounted engine and propeller. It also provides the Short Take-Off and Landing Capability (STOL) to operate from almost any airstrip. The Mwari is an integration of design of fixed wing surveillance and reconnaissance platforms and attack helicopters.
Paramount Group is also showcasing its highly advanced, mine-protected infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) at IDEX 2017. Its vehicles, including its Mbombe armoured infantry vehicle family, are amongst the most advanced in the world, incorporating ‘lessons-learned’ engineering on vehicle and soldier survivability from conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.
Paramount Group will be located at Stand 12 C20 at IDEX.