The SA Army is looking to procure unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance and target acquisition according to an Armscor tender information.
The tender documentation issued for ECAC/2022/154, includes specifications for BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment).
However, there was no mention of how many UAVs the Army is looking to buy, neither does the tender specify whether a single propeller or multi-rotor platform is wanted to provide data to ground-based stations for targeting solutions or other actions.
According to DefenceWeb, the UAV which will be used for reconnaissance and targeting is not expected to be a large one, but with a maximum take-off weight of 9kg and an endurance of 55 minutes.
The UAV operator must be able to “work” his platform from a maximum unobstructed distance of 15km. He or she will use an external battery with a 7,6 voltage rating to provide power while the UAV’s built-in battery should be a 18650 lithium ion one with a 17v power rating and 135 minute charging time. Expected battery endurance is two hours 30 minutes for the UAV mounted one and four hours 30 minutes for the external ground station one.
South African defence company Milkor will supply the first of it’s all-new Milkor 380 medium-altitude and long-endurance unmanned system to the South African Department of Defence for testing and possible operationalization.
For year’s now, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has been deploying drones for security missions, with the South African Army flying the locally designed and developed Indiza hand-launched drone for border patrol and peacekeeping missions, as well as small multi-rotors for surveillance.
Also, the Defence Intelligence (DI) operates an unknown number of Denel Seeker UAVs, with one of them- a Seeker 400 crashing on Thursday, 10 March, 2021.