Arms company Paramount Group and aeronautical engineering firm Aerosud unveiled the Ahrlac! (Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft) This is first new combat aircraft developed in South Africa in the last few years. The Ahrlac is a light two-seater strike twin-tail plane with a propeller mounted behind its fuselage.
The Ahrlac was unveiled at the Centurion Aerospace Village. The aircraft had been designed to be deployed in rough conditions. The Ahrlac can fly at a maximum cruise speed of 500km/h and remain airborne for up to 10 hours with a range of about 2000km. The aircraft will primarily be used for surveillance, anti-poaching operations, counter-insurgency, armed maritime and border patrols and emergency supply missions. Fighter jets and combat aircraft were not always ideally suited to deal with these situations.
The Ahrlac can be fitted with infrared, radar and electronic intelligence and communication intelligence-gathering equipment. The aircraft has 6 “hard points” designed for weapons to be rapidly “clipped” on and off, allowing it to carry light rocket pods, missiles, bombs and external fuel tanks. The flight test is scheduled for 2012 and the companies hope to start production in late 2012. The Ahrlac is expected to cost around U.S$10 mil.
Read more: www.ahrlac.com