South African security company CSS Tactical has received a Tecnam P2006T MRI surveillance aircraft as part of a joint effort with Spanish company Indra to jointly market, sell, operate and maintain the system in the region.
On August 20 the first production P2006T MRI (Multi-sensor Reconnaissance and Identification) aircraft to be sold by Indra, departed Spain for Wonderboom Airport outside Pretoria on a five-day ferry flight, reports Air Forces Daily.
On arrival, the aircraft and systems were scheduled to be evaluated before handing over to CSS Tactical. CSS tactical is a local security company specialising in armed response, perimeter protection, CCTV monitoring
In February this year Indra announced it was entering the South African air surveillance market through a “private operator” regarding its MRI aerial surveillance system.
“The agreement includes the sale of a complete aerial and ground system that will be delivered in record time, in view of the urgent need for such a system for both terrestrial and maritime surveillance and has both civil and military applications,” Indra said.
The MRI (Multisensor Reconnaissance & Identification) aircraft, based on the Tecnam P2006T, has been designed for maritime patrol and surveillance. It includes a Seaspray 5000E Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) multi-mode surveillance radar from SELEX Galileo that can use several modes simultaneously. Electro-optical and infrared sensors (Ultra Force 275) are supplied by FLIR Systems. Other equipment includes an AIS (Automatic Identification System) transponder for identifying ships, which is integrated with the radar picture. All information that is gathered is recorded and transferred in real time to a ground station via a datalink.
The system can explore areas up to 5 000 square nautical miles at a typical range of 100 nautical miles from the coast with an acquisition cost similar to that of a light helicopter, Indra said.
The MRI system is designed to fulfil maritime safety, search and rescue, fisheries protection, oil field protection, marine environmental protection, drugs interdiction, illegal immigration interdiction and other law enforcement missions.
Tecnam’s airframe was selected due to reliability, economy of operation, maintainability and performance. The Tecnam P2006T is powered by two four cylinder Rotax 912S3 engines delivering 100 hp each. Fully retractable landing gear allows for an uninterrupted view for the sensors. 200 litres of fuel provides six hours of flying time. Cruise speed is 130 knots.