The United Arab Emirates has ordered further Seeker unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Denel Dynamics, worth more than R100 million.
The latest contract, worth AED25 821 190 (R109 million) was announced during the Unmanned Systems Exhibition (UMEX) in Abu Dhabi last month by Staff Brigadier Fahad Nasser Al Thehli, Spokesman for the UMEX and SimTEX 2020 exhibitions, although it was signed before the show.
Denel displayed its Seeker 400 UAV at the UMEX show where it was fitted with an enlarged nose for a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and hump above the wing for beyond line of sight satellite communications link. It was also fitted with two air-to-surface missiles.
Denel said the new ‘lumps and bumps’ are part of the roadmap for the Seeker 400. The new configuration model is in line with the design of the Seeker 400 as it was originally conceived: to have a system that can carry weapons and other sensor options.
The Seeker 400 is capable of carrying dual imaging electro-optical/infrared payloads with gimbal diameters of up to 530 mm, but has seldom been seen carrying more a single payload at a time. Denel said the following sensor combinations are typically included: Colour daylight camera with zoom lens; infrared thermal imager with step fields of view; day colour or monochrome spotter camera; night spotter camera, laser designator and laser range finder.
An electronic intelligence (ELINT) payload is available for detection and location of radar emitters. To provide for multi-mission and multi-roles, optional sensors and specific payloads like synthetic aperture radar (SAR), communications intelligence (COMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT) and satellite communications can be integrated.
The United Arab Emirates is a previous Seeker customer. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s Arms Transfers database, the UAE bought several batches of Seeker II aircraft in the 1990s and 2000s, Seeker 200s in 2017 and six Seeker 400 armed UAVs in 2018.