A Seeker 400 unmanned Aerial vehicle belonging to the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) has suffered a mishap.
Photographs of the crashed Seeker 400 UAV emerged on Thursday, 10 March showing the aircraft with serious damage after a descent under parachute.
So far, the South African military have not made any statement regarding the incident, however, according to defense commentator and Director of African Defence Review Darren Olivier, “If it’s in South Africa the only known operator of this type is Defence Intelligence, so it might be theirs.”
The UAV may have deployed a parachute upon malfunctioning however, the airframe was severely damaged with the horizontal elevator broken off, as well as the nose cone and and front landing wheel.
A gimballed forward looking infrared camera is still attached to the airframe.
The Seeker 400 is the newest Seeker variant designed by Denel Dynamics, it offers enhanced situational awareness capabilities and other improvements over the Seeker 2.
The UAV is designed to perform tactical reconnaissance in real time and can conduct day and night surveillance in all threat environments.
The type was recently acquired by the United Arab Emirates for it’s Presidential Guards which is the launch customer.
For a while now, the UAE have been procuring Seeker UAVs from Denel including, Seeker II, Seeker 200 and Seeker 400 UAVs from Denel. The UAE is the launch customer for both the Seeker 200 and 400.
Denel will supply the Arab nation with six UAV units, two ground control stations, six electro-optics payloads, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), satellite communication (SATCOM), and the integration of weapons.