As South Africa attempts to revitalise its aviation industry, Paramount pushed its new armed AHRLAC in Dubai this month.

At IDEX, Paramount promoted its Mwari, a low-cost surveillance and attack aircraft. The South African company is marketing Mwari as a fixed-wing aircraft with the capabilities of an AH-64 Apache, a pitch that makes all the more sense with Boeing developing Mwari’s mission system. With a maximum cruise speed of 272kt, the PT6-powered Mwari can outpace the Apache’s 150kt maximum speed. Mwari also boasts a maximum distance of 1150nm and can fly for more than seven hours, ideal for patrols and surveillance across wide, remote swaths of African land.

So far, Mwari has achieved more than 250 flight test hours over South Africa’s border and neighboring countries, a Paramount spokesman tells FlightGlobal. The aircraft has been fitted with an electro-optical sighting system and long-range reconnaissance radar for ISR missions. Mwari can also be configured for armed missions with a 20mm cannon pod, 70mm guided rockets, Mk 81 smart bomb and a Mokopa anti-tank missile.

“It has undertaken a number of ‘border camps’ to prove that it can easily be deployed in remote areas with little ground support,” he says. “Various sensors and reconnaissance systems have also been tested.”

Paramount has not announced deals for Mwari, but is targeting a broad range of customers from NATO to developing countries. Paramount is also leaving the possibility open for technology transfers with countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Much of Mwari’s techcnology has been developed with future Middle East partnerships in mind, a Paramount spokesman says.

“Because of our unique approach to the industry, we are sensitive to the requirements of many customers to establish industrial capability and we focus strongly on assisting governments in the Middle East to create domestic capacity,” he says.