AL TARIQ (formerly Barij Dynamics) continues to enhance its ‘Al Tariq’ range of precision-guided munitions (PGMs) and is about to start production on the improved Block II version.
Theunis Botha, Chief Executive Officer of AL TARIQ, told defenceWeb that the upgraded Block II version includes a variety of new operational features for the Mk 81 and Mk 82 bomb kits. He said: “We are currently in the process of starting our planned production for the Block II version towards the end of 2020, and are also expanding the range to include the Mk 83 and Mk 84 in the next 12-18 months.”
AL TARIQ, originally established as a joint venture with Denel Dynamics, is now part of the Missiles & Weapons cluster within the Abu Dhabi-based EDGE defence group. The company has produced a large number of Al Tariq guidance kits for the Mk 81 (250 lb) and Mk 82 (500 lb) bombs, mainly for the UAE Air Force’s Mirage 2000-9s and other aircraft in the fleet.
The Block II version features an upgraded navigation system, and a pre-flight power source – to reduce the weapon’s independence on the carrying aircraft’s electrical power.
The Al Tariq comes in two main variants: the Al Tariq S and the Al Tariq LR – which have different seekers, payload sizes and wing kit options as well as multiple configurations – as the company looks to add a new payload and fusing system for a height adjustable airburst option (Height-Of-Burst-Sensor).
The Al Tariq S has a range of 40 km, and the Al Tariq LR has a wing kit that extends range to 120 km. Botha, speaking during a recent webinar, said Al Tariq still has the longest demonstrated range on the market.
On a Mk 81 payload, the Al Tariq S has a mass of 212 kg, whereas it is 268 kg on the Al Tariq LR. As for the Mk 82 payload, its mass is 310 kg and 366 kg, respectively. The Al Tariq can be launched at a maximum speed of Mach 0.9 from an altitude of 40 000 feet. Its impact speed is programmable while the impact angle can be programmed between 30 and 90 degrees.
There are three main guidance configurations: accuracy with GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is approximately 10 metres CEP (circular error probable); with GNSS semi-active laser it is three metres CEP, and with GNSS imaging infrared with automatic target recognition, it goes down to two metres CEP. The Al Tariq S can engage targets up to 90 degrees off-axis, while the Al Tariq LR can engage targets up to 180 degrees off-axis. Targeting can be either locked on before, or after, launch.
Botha said AL TARIQ has benefitted from the UAE being its launch customer but is looking to grow the business outside the UAE, and has already accomplished successful demonstrations in other countries. “We have a very good product; we believe in it,” he said, commenting on the demand for Al Tariq kits.
“The intention is to grow the market even further – beyond the Middle East and North Africa. We are expanding our footprint, though COVID-19 has put a bit of a delay in our plans in the business development domain. Being ITAR-free will help in this process,” he added.
AL TARIQ was originally known as Tawazun Dynamics as it was a partnership between Denel Dynamics and Tawazun. In October 2018, the company rebranded itself as Barij Dynamics after investment from the Emirates Defence Industry Company (EDIC). In November 2019, the company later became AL TARIQ when it was consolidated along with 25 other UAE defence entities, under EDGE.