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The first military aircraft made in Africa made successfully its first public test flight on Wednesday, 13th August at Wonderboom airport in Pretoria, South Africa, reported on Monday the Ecofin agency.
According to the agency, two South African aeronautical groups, Paramount and Aerosud, developed this device that associates a helicopter fuselage with a double tail inspired by the Second World War bombers.
The aircraft of AHRLAC type (Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft), is of modest size. It is conceived for two persons.
Paramount described the ARHLAC as « the first military aircraft with fixed wings to have been completely conceived, tested, and developed in Africa« .
About sixty African engineers have worked for about 315,000 hours on the first prototype since the launching of the project in 2011.
« The emergence of Africa more and more as important power on the economic scene means that the world henceforth expects Africa to play a bigger role to prevent and control the conflicts on the continent« , declared the boss of Paramount, Ivor Ichikowitz, in a communiqué published on the site of the group.
« The solution is to develop African capacities to solve African challenges« , added Mr. Ichikowitz.
According to Paramount, AHRLAC could seduce customers far beyond the African continent by carrying out tasks usually requiring four types of different aircrafts, from simple surveillance to missions of attack by way of « electronic war » operations.
In an interview to the British review specialized in the military business IHS Jane, Mr. Ichikowitz clarified that AHRLAC could carry out missions of attack at a quarter of the cost that would require a military helicopter.
Paramount hopes to produce two or three AHRLAC samples per month and that would then be sold at approximately 10 million dollars each.
Original text by: Blaise AKAME