Denel Kentron is exploring concepts for a new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) unmanned air vehicle. The company is planning a small, low-cost tactical UAV designed for the African market.

The MALE UAV would be capable of near-24h missions, compared to 10h with its Seeker II. The MALE would reuse a variety of Seeker II systems, including ground stations and some payloads, but with an entirely new airframe and separate identity.

Tsepo Monaheng, programme manager for UAV systems at Denel Kentron, says current concepts for the MALE envisage it as being 1.5 times larger than Seeker II. The African UAV would be 1.5 times smaller than that same reference air vehicle.

Monaheng says that the limited military and paramilitary budgets of most African nations preclude acquisition of current Denel UAV systems. He says the African UAV concept is currently the subject of market and feasibility analyses.

Decisions on whether to proceed with both development programmes will be made late next year.

Monaheng says separate development work will continue on Seeker II to ensure it remains a commercially viable system.

Source: Flight International