Uncrewed systems and surveillance specialist SecInt Group is promising to introduce a range of new and upgraded products as it builds on the recent acquisition of Polish aircraft manufacturer Marganski & Myslowski Aviation (MMA).

Although the two companies had a previous commercial relationship, prior to the 12 April deal SecInt had made no investment in its partner, says chief executive Nick Rowley.

Fenice-c-SecInt Group

Source: SecInt Group

SecInt’s Fenice UAV boasts a 250kg maximum take-off weight

But the multi-million-euro acquisition will allow expansion of SecInt’s existing portfolio of uncrewed and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms, which it typically markets to less well-resourced nations.

“Our solutions are designed for countries in the developing world that can’t afford a top-tier asset from one of the big defence primes,” says Rowley.

MMA, which has been in business for around 40 years, has two main product lines: the aerobatic MDM-1 Fox glider, and the EM-11C Orka four-seat piston-twin.

In addition, it produces the airframe for SecInt’s Fenice, a 250kg (550lb) maximum take-off weight (MTOW) unmanned air vehicle designed around maritime patrol requirements.

Previous projects included the EM-10 Bielik – a two-seat single-engined jet trainer made largely from composite. Although never adopted by the Polish military for whom it was designed, the company retains the design rights to the jet.

On top of which, MMA also holds design and production organisation approvals from the European regulator for aircraft up to 5,700kg MTOW, alongside extensive composite manufacturing capabilities.

Orka-c-SecInt Group

Source: SecInt Group

Orka four-seat commuter has been reconfigured as an ISR platform

SecInt has for several years marketed a variant of the Orka adapted with a bespoke sensor suite for ISR missions – a product originally based on the Pacific Aerospace P-750.

However, with the New Zealand company’s insolvency in 2021 “that left us in a hole because we didn’t have a platform to serve customers we already had contracts with”.

Rowley says it will soon introduce a next-generation variant of the Orka “designed purely as a patrol aircraft” for law enforcement or military operators.

“I don’t think we have any real interest in producing a four-seat commuter aircraft,” he adds, citing the fierce competition in the space.

Rowley says it will look to upgrade the type’s engines, offering piston and turbine powerplant options. New moulds for the aircraft will be produced “around this time next year”, he adds.

Further out, he also sees a future use case for the mothballed Bielik programme, with its eventual conversion into a high-speed ISR platform. “At the moment we are aiming to have a prototype ready within five years,” he adds.

SecInt will likely maintain MMA’s Fox glider, building one-offs for existing customers, but Rowley says the airframe is well-suited to serve as the basis of a long-loitering, high-altitude surveillance drone.

Besides new-build aircraft, Rowley says SecInt’s capabilities in the development of automated flight-control systems allow it to convert existing airframes into low-cost unmanned or optionally piloted assets.

SecInt, which has operations in Cyprus and the UK, in 2022 bought commercial mapping specialist QuestUAV, along with its DataHawk product, and Rowley sees the scope for further acquisitions, notably in software to drive development of AI for its products.

Bielik-EM10-c-SecInt Group

Source: SecInt Group

EM-10 Bielik was designed as a two-seat jet trainer for the Polish military