AHRLAC South Africa’s deadly Ground attack plane

AHRLAC

AHRLAC -the Future of Ground Attack

Say hello to AHRLAC – Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft; Made in South Africa. The aircraft was designed and then built in Pretoria South Africa by collaboration between two companies; Aerosud and Paramount Group. The idea was to come up with an aircraft capable of light attack role while also doubling as a reconnaissance plane. AHRLAC, is able to carry weapons, radar, surveillance equipment and electronic warfare systems. It is equipped with pods that are swappable for different roles the airplane will be used for. The swappable modules allow it to have reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, close air support, training, cargo and light attack capabilities.
AHRLAC during flight
AHRLAC The Ahrlac can stay in the air for more than seven hours, useful for operations that involve patrolling large areas. The company is setting up a factory in Pretoria, near the Waterkloof air force base. “We have industrialised the process and can build the aircraft quickly. The first prototype was built in two months. From there we can do it much faster.”
AHRLAC showing weapons hardpoints

 

 

 

 

AHRLAC SPECIFICATION

General characteristics

Crew: two (pilot, copilot/observer)
Length: 10 m (34 ft)
Wingspan: 12 m (39 ft)
Height: 4 m (13 ft)
Empty weight: 2,000 kg (4,409 lb)
Max takeoff weight: 3,800 kg (8,378 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66 turboprop, 710 kW (950 shp)
 
 

Performance

Maximum speed: 504 km/h; 313 mph (272 kn)
Range: 2,130 km; 1,323 mi (1,150 nmi)
Endurance: 7–10 hrs
Service ceiling: 9,450 m (31,004 ft)
Take-off distance: 550 metres (1,800 ft) with full payload
 

Armament

Guns: F2 20 mm cannon
Hardpoints: 6 with provisions to carry combinations of:
Missiles: Mokopa anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM),
Bombs: Mk 81 250 lb. or Mk 82 500 lb. general-purpose bombs
 

Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor

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