South Africa’s defense company Paramount Group may likely be operating an Mwari ISR aircraft in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique on behalf of the national government against insurgents.
Paramount which has earlier supplied armed helicopters and Marauder MRAPs was also reported by credible sources to have delivered an Mwari surveillance plane to Mozambique in June this year.
There have been no official statement from Paramount regarding the deployment of the unarmed Mwari to the Mozambican war torn region.
It is known that Paramount and Burnham Global consortium are currently training soldiers and providing military equipment, which comprises of four Gazelle helicopters, two Mi-24 helicopters, one Mwari reconnaissance aircraft, and 12 Marauder armoured vehicles.
The Mwari is the result of a partnership between Paramount and Boeing in a deal signed in 2016. It combines Paramount’s advanced, high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft with Boeing’s mission systems and advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads.
The Mwari design features an unconventional layout so as to enable it undertake a wide variety of roles. It has a pusher-type propeller layout, great visibility and high wing for flight stability.
Following the completion of the Paramount Group’s new aerospace factory at the Wonderboom International Airport Complex, the firm ramped up production of its Mwari light-attack aircraft.
Paramount Group Executive Chairman Ivor Ichikowitz hinted in 2017 that the Mwari was getting high interest from clients in the Middle East, the United States and some African countries.
He later announced during a press briefing on 18 July, 2018, at the Farnborough International Airshow that the aircraft had secured it’s first launch customer and that the plane was rolling off the production line.
The South African defense company’s CEO also disclosed that the first launch customer would be revealed soon.
However, till date, not much is known about the endeavor and the business may have fallen through.
Even though the aircraft is optimized for the African continent, the Mwari is yet to penetrate Africa’s defense market.
In Mozambique, the Paramount-operated Mwari along with a Bombardier Dash 8 intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft operated by Canada’s PAL Aerospace; are the two major ISR components helping the government in its fight against insurgents.
In its standard configuration, the Mwari can be fitted with an interchangeable multimission pod system, or IMPS, under a belly-mounted, multi-mission sensor pod, which allows a single plane to perform multiple roles.
Depending on the requirements of a mission, the IMPS can be loaded out with systems for electronic intelligence, signals and communication intelligence; semi-active radar; forward-looking infrared radiometer; and cargo.
The Mwari can be packed with various sensors, with the aircraft able to support sensor systems such as the L3 Technologies MX-25. Paramount Group have reported that the Thales Avni infrared linescan unit and Hensoldt Argos II electro-optical nose turret have also been integrated into the aircraft.