A reconnaissance light aircraft built by a South African company has made its maiden flight and has become the first military aircraft fully designed and built in Africa. A product of the Paramount Group, the Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) is expected to fly 100 to 200 hours under normal and difficult conditions during initial testing.
AHRLAC is designed for military and civilian missions, and can carry surveillance, weapons, radar and electronic warfare systems.
“AHRLAC is a homegrown, world-class capability that will enable developing countries and advanced nations to strengthen and diversify their security infrastructure,” said Paramount founder Ivor Ichikowitz. “It offers the global industry a new, very cost-effective and multirole solution that will change the way global air forces procure and structure their air fleets. AHRLAC is a solution shaped for today’s modern threats like insurgencies, piracy, poaching and terrorism.”
Construction of the second prototype is underway. It will be used to test weapons and sensors, mission equipment, and other hardware. The first aircraft could be delivered to customers near the end of 2015, after flight testing of the second prototype. Production will be four to eight the first year and then up to five per month as production ramps up.