The LH Aviation LH-10 light multirole aircraft, bought for surveillance use by Benin and the United Arab Emirates, will be the first aircraft to be manufactured in Morocco when a new factory is established in the North African country.
French firm LH Aviation last month announced it had established a subsidiary in Morocco, LH Aviation Maroc, which will manufacture the LH-10. The Moroccan company was established with a $5.5 million investment from Moroccan Karim Bennani-Karim, who has a 49% stake in the company, according to LH Aviation.
Once established, possibly as early as 2015, the factory will have the capacity to manufacture 80 LH-10M aircraft per year.
LH Aviation has sold the Ellipse to Benin and the United Arab Emirates and is looking at further opportunities in the region with the new facility in Morocco. The aircraft is offered for border monitoring, surveillance and training.
According to LH Aviation, the LH-10 has a normal speed range of 120-350 km/h, a range of 760 nautical miles, an endurance of up to six hours and a climb rate of 1 500 ft/minute.
The completely carbon fibre aircraft is aimed at offering unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flexibility for less cost and has been designed to fulfil a variety of roles, both civilian and military, such as pilot training, surveillance, armed reconnaissance etc. It can be fitted with 68 mm rockets and sensor turrets.
Several years ago Benin’s air force bought several LH-10s fitted with digital cameras, GPS systems and satellite communications for monitoring the country’s coastline. In 2013 Dubai-based company Jet Energy ordered ten aircraft for 13 million euros for monitoring pipelines, ships and oil rigs.