Milkor’s unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). was officially launching at the 2021 International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX), in Abu Dhabi.
The UCAV was launched by the Emirates’ Minister of State for Defence Affairs Mohammad Ahmad Al Bowardi yesterday 23 February.
Milkor’s UCAV was displayed armed with six Desert Sting guided munitions. It is capable of medium altitude, and long-endurance (MALE) operations with 30,000 feet altitude and 35+ hours endurance. The UCAV features a 18.5 metres wingspan, with a range of 350 km in line of sight mode an excess of 1 000 km when fitted with a satellite link.
Maximum takeoff weight is ,300 kg and payload 210 kg. The top speed is 250 km/h and cruise speed 110-150 km/h.
It is equipped with five hardpoints for various payloads and can carry SAR/ISAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar/Inverted Synthetic Aperture Radar), Communications Intelligence (COMINT), AIS (Automatic Identification System), communications relay, communications jammer and other systems including ‘swarm pods’.
According to Milkor, the UCAV was designed and developed by Milkor UAE, and a regional office was recently launched at IDEX. “Our local presence will give us the ability to interact on a vast array of partnership opportunities, collaborations and joint developments with a more dynamic and timely approach. We’ve had to concentrate on many different aspects of our business model but most importantly our timing had to be perfect, we’ve been strategizing for months with late nights and a lot of coffee to make this happen,” Julian Coetzee, CEO of Milkor UAE, said in mid-2020.
Regarding the Desert Sting guided munition, Milkor and UAE’s HALCON jointly designed the munition displayed at IDEX. It has a range of 16km and can engage armoured and light stationary or moving targets. The Desert Sting Is equipped with an inertial navigation system and GNSS for navigation with an optional semi-active laser seeker.
Halcon has been contracted to supply 16 Desert Sting to the UAE military in a $1 billion contract awarded in November 2019.
Besides the UCAV, several other UAVs were displayed including a Surveillance version and the smaller MA80, MA380 UAVs as well as the MA18 fixed-wing hand-launched portable UAV.