Meggitt Defence Systems' Voodoo target is nearing the end of its development phase and managing director Terry Timms is confident he has a winner on his hands.

Meggitt says Voodoo is an affordable alternative to realistic air defence weapons training scenarios offered by expensive jet-powered drones.

It is a recoverable piston-engined aerial target that flies at speeds up to 350kt (650km/h) from near ground level to 22,000ft (6,700m), for around 90min.

Voodoo builds on the success of the Banshee, which is now in service in 40 countries.

"The target market remains strong," says Timms.


The catapult-launched Voodoo can be controlled by existing Banshee ground stations. All payloads, enhancements and countermeasure systems fitted to Banshee are interchangable with Voodoo, and it is also especially suited to towing sub-targets.

The target's 150hp Fury engine is a developed version of a four-cylinder in-line motorcycle engine - produced by Formula 1 engineering firm Ilmore Racing.

With a final series of test flights due in the next two to three months, the programme is on schedule for service entry in late 2003.

Meggitt has a dozen prospective customers for Voodoo, most of them existing Banshee customers. The launch customer is AIDC in Taiwan with an order for an initial six targets, plus supporting ground support equipment

The latest version of the Banshee free flying target, which entered service in 2002, is now flying with 15 customers, with more conversions expected soon. Both Bahrain and Turkey have signed deals this year.

Source: Flight Daily News