Paramount adds counter-drone capabilities to Mwari aircraft

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Paramount Group has added anti-drone technologies to its Mwari multi-mission aircraft, which it says will enable the deployment of the aircraft as a hunter and killer of Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The addition of ‘Find, Fix & Finish’ technologies for the anti-drone defence environment are capable of engaging MALE drones at altitudes of 20 000-30 000 feet, Paramount said, where only highly sophisticated and costly ground-based air defence systems (GBADS) can reach, and which would otherwise require the intervention of fighter jets.

“Advanced sensors, an extended range, and pinpoint accuracy are at the forefront of the Mwari’s innovative system design, making the platform an ideal solution for the threats posed by MALE drones to the territorial integrity of sovereign nations,” the company said in a statement.

The Mwari is capable of loitering at a minimum speed of 110 knots for up to 10 hours of flight time (with optional external fuel tanks for added endurance). It can be fully equipped with air-to-air missiles (with an engagement range of 4 000 m) alongside rapid-fire, wing-mounted cannon pods (with an engagement range of 800 m), “offering the latest in advanced anti-drone lethality.”

This capability builds on inherent onboard situational awareness technologies such as an encrypted, high-bandwidth data link and multi-spectrum search and track sensors, long range optical and radar surveillance systems, a SA7 CRM – Satellite Communication link, AIS, and real-time video. This hardware and software can assess targets, including MALE UAVs in the 2 000 kg class, typically flown in high altitude surveillance patterns.

Steve Griessel, CEO of Paramount Group, stated that, “Historically, prohibitive costs have restricted anti-drone systems targeting MALE drone threats. Amidst this paradigm is where the Mwari perfectly steps in, the next and best-in-class precision technology, and able to operate at a fraction of the cost of alternative anti-drone solutions. No other singular aircraft has such an intuitive multi-mission application or can reach similar altitudes while hosting what is the industry’s gold standard in situational awareness technology.”

An Interchangeable Multi-Mission System Bay (IMSB) located in the fuselage further allows for system changes ‘on the fly;’ updates, additions, and integrations in real-time are made possible, ensuring that the single airframe can be easily re-configured for different missions.

“We look forward to leveraging the innovative Mwari’s robust applications as the pre-eminent anti-drone defence solution and to its exciting next steps in adoption by our global partners,” Griesel concluded.