The SA Army plans to acquire unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance and target acquisition according to a now closed Armscor tender.
Documentation issued for tender ECAC/2022/154, including specifications for BBBEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) run to 42 pages but do not make mention of how many UAVs the landward force is looking to add to its equipment store.
As expected for reconnaissance purposes the UAV sought is not a large one with a maximum take-off weight of 9kg and an endurance of 55 minutes. The tender further doesn’t specify whether a single propeller or multi-rotor platform is wanted to provide data to ground-based stations for targeting solutions or other actions.
The UAV operator must be able to “work” his platform from a maximum unobstructed distance of 15km. He or she will use an external battery with a 7,6 voltage rating to provide power while the UAV’s built-in battery should be a 18650 lithium ion one with a 17v power rating and 135 minute charging time. Expected battery endurance is two hours 30 minutes for the UAV mounted one and four hours 30 minutes for the external ground station one.
The landward force previously indicated a need for UAVs to work in the border protection tasking Operation Corona.
As far as is known Defence Intelligence (DI) operates an unknown number of Denel Seeker UAVs.
At the time of publication Armscor had not made known any successful bidder for the SA Army UAVs.