Skip to comments.South African arms company unveils first African-made military plane
Posted on 09/27/2011 10:50:17 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
South African arms company unveils first African-made military plane
By: Gillian Gotora, The Associated Press
PRETORIA, South Africa - The first military aircraft designed and built by African companies was unveiled Tuesday by a South African arms company which said it had already received orders for the lightweight plane.
Ivor Ichikowitz, head of Johannesburg-based arms maker Paramount Group, called the plane a breakthrough, but experts said its simple design was similar to planes produced by other countries, and said it will have tough competition.
Ichikowitz said the AHRLAC plane can be used for peacekeeping missions and reconnaissance and is armed to defend itself.
He said he's received an order from a country he would not name for 50 of the planes, each costing about $10 million.
Paramount Group is one of Africa's largest military hardware producers and has markets in West Africa and the Middle East.
Ichikowitz, known for his flamboyance, revealed a life-size model of the aircraft at a South African arms factory. Beside the model of the plane stood two female models wearing flight suits and holding pilot helmets. The weapons were not mounted on the model.
Ichikowitz said everything on the plane is South African-made except for the engine. Local aircraft engineering company Aerosud partnered Paramount Group in the development of AHRLAC. The engine is made by U.S.-based jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney.
Production of the two-pilot aircraft will begin in late 2012.
He said their main target is the international market.
"Defence companies in this country rely on the (South African Air Force) and are battling," he said. "Even though the aircraft is made in Africa, it is not solely for the African market."
Defence analyst Siemon Wezeman of the independent Stockholm International Peace Research
(Excerpt) Read more at winnipegfreepress.com ...
The Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft, AHRLAC, plane is officially unveiled at a ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, Tuesday Sept. 27, 2011. The aircraft is the first all-African military plane that can be used for peacekeeping missions and reconnaissance work and is armed to defend itself. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
Okay.......Where’s the plane?.......It must be stealth.............
There’s a plane in that picture?
The plane is pretty neat.
But those pilots.......now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!!!
Oh, there’s the plane.....behind that ugly white guy........
Saw this in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE....Little Nellie
That looks like some type of kit plane.
Wouldn’t stand a chance in a real war.
It’s a pusher!
Maybe a (very, very) basic weapons platform, probably with a bit of armor and maybe some defense against MANPADS. Probably pretty useful against “rebels” with no airpower. Would it be faster than a ‘copter though? Certain to save on gas and maintenance.
But the countries that buy this wouldn’t be able to afford planes that would stand a chance in a “real war”.
Well, it’s a COIN plane, it’s not intended for a conventional war, but for brushfire conflicts. And for that role, it’s looks pretty good. The crew probably has a superb field of view due to the way the plane and cockpit is laid out.
It’s a smaller single engine version of the OV-10 Bronco.
You know it sucks because they have to hire car show girls to promote it.
10 million for a kit plane?
Wasn’t this what John Denver went down in?
Is that intake above the right model for a lil baby jet engine?
I need one - maybe sooner then later. With lots of bullets and missiles.