Milkor Polska, the newest addition to the Milkor Group, has kicked off its operations in Poland by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AeroData AG to bring airborne maritime surveillance into the unmanned domain.
The MoU was signed at the Paris Air Show in June, bringing together Milkor South Africa and AeroData, which supplies airborne maritime surveillance sensors and systems. AeroData will provide a maritime surveillance solution for the Milkor 380 medium-altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).
“We are bringing new capabilities to Poland, especially in the unmanned aerial domain with our Milkor 380 UCAV,” said Juandré de Bruyn, Managing Director of Milkor Polska. “Europe is investing a lot into new UAV technologies and our advanced aerospace offerings fits into that space. There is a need in Europe for ITAR (US International Traffic in Arms Regulations) free platforms of this size and calibre.”
The Milkor 380 has a payload agnostic architecture, making these collaborations and opportunities possible, the company said. It enables end users to have a wide variety of choices on which payload option to have integrated to fit their specific needs. “This gives Milkor Polska a unique edge on the UAV market in Europe,” the company added.
The flagship Milkor 380 has a wingspan of 18 metres, endurance of up to 35 hours and payload capacity of 210 kg (maximum takeoff weight is 1 300 kg). With such a large payload, a wide array of weapons and equipment can be carried, such as synthetic aperture radar, jammers, electro-optical gimbal etc. Five hardpoints can carry precision guided weapons like the AL TARIQ X-series and HALCON Desert Sting or Thales Belgium FZ602 rocket launchers etc. All avionics, communications and payload integration capabilities of the aircraft have been developed in-house. The Milkor 380 was unveiled in 2018 and started taxi testing in early 2023.
Milkor said its new Polish company will serve the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Europe, with Poland an ideal location to establish a European presence. “We have been anticipating Poland’s rise as military power in Europe as we have noticed their efforts in the past few years. This trend has recently been confirmed by Poland allocating 4.25% of their GDP to their defence budget, the highest in NATO. We would like to contribute to their success”, de Bruyn said. He added that Milkor Polska has the potential to give new life to the private defence industry in Poland as it intends to export to the rest of NATO from there.
Milkor Polska will be exhibiting at the MSPO exhibition between 5 and 8 September in Kielce, Poland. The company will be showcasing a wide variety of weapons as well as other systems that make up their air, land and sea offerings, giving the Polish industry an opportunity to get acquainted with their newest partner.
Milkor has been expanding around the world and now has offices in India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Poland as well as South Africa. With the shifting geopolitical landscape, Milkor believes it is well positioned to make the most of these changing conditions and is setting its sights on meeting new global defence demands. This has seen its product lineup grow from 40 mm single-and multi-shot grenade launchers to UAVs, armoured vehicles, and patrol craft.