THE ROYAL Australian Navy (RAN) is planning to acquire a new aerial target system to replace the locally produced Jindivik drone from 1997.

A modern unmanned aerial target is needed primarily to simulate anti-ship missile attacks against RAN warships. The new system will also be used by the air force for air-to-air missile firings.

The RAN's draft requirement calls for a system with an effective range of up to 95km (50nm) and a maximum speed of Mach 1.2 and which is capable of sustained turns of 6g or more.

It will carry self-defence dispensers, miss-distance indicators and a global-positioning system.

A request for tenders, is expected to be issued in May, with final selection and contract signature to take place, by April 1996. Systems under consideration for the order include the Aerospatiale C-22L, Beech MQM-107, Denel Skua and Meteor Mirach 100.

Manufacturers are negotiating with Australian companies to provide local through-life support and in-service modifications. Aerospatiale is understood already to have teamed with Australian Defence Industries (ADI), while Denel is in discussion with drone distributor Air Affairs.

Source: Flight International