Karayel UAV on display at the 2019 Dubai Airshow

The Saudi General Authority of Military Industries (GAMI) is coordinating with the INTRA Defense Technologies to manufacture unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

The project, worth SR750 million ($195 million), is expected to generate around 500 jobs, 70 percent of which will be occupied by Saudis. The country is procuring six unmanned systems for delivery in 2021, and a further 40 systems within five years.

The Authority aims to build an innovative technological base regionally and internationally to ensure maintenance, manufacture, and localization of unmanned aircraft systems.

INTRA, a Saudi company licensed by GAMI, will secure a number of categories of advanced and unmanned aircraft systems in tasks that are highly competitive in terms of technology and cost.

The type of UAV was not disclosed, but Intra advertises the Karayel tactical UAV, developed by Turkey’s Vestel, and the Asef VTOL UAV, which was launched at the Dubai Airshow in 2019. Jane’s notes that a Karayel was lost over Yemen’s Al-Hudaydah in late December after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile near the port of Al-Salif.

The Karayel has an endurance of 20 hours at 18,000 ft (5,486 m) and a cruise speed of 60-80 kt. Maximum payloads for the platform are 70 kg under the fuselage and 60 kg per wing across a total of four hardpoints. The platform’s datalink range is 200 km from the GCS. The platform shown at the Dubai Airshow was armed with Roketsan MAM-L and MAM-C munitions.

The platform was also shown with a Hensoldt Argos II EO/IR pod to provide day-and-night surveillance capabilities. Intra signed an agreement with Hensoldt South Africa’s Optronics division to develop an electro-optical payload for UAVs in Saudi Arabia ahead of the 2019 Dubai Airshow as part of efforts to improve self-sufficiency in the unmanned aerial vehicle domain.

Intra representatives told Jane’s at the Dubai Airshow last year that the company was primarily orienting its marketing efforts for the Karayel towards the Saudi military, and potentially exporting the platform to Brazil and Kuwait.

GAMI Governor, Eng. Ahmed al-Ohali, said that the project for the maintenance, manufacture, and localization of unmanned aircraft systems reflects the general strategy of the authority.

The project also aims to achieve the strategic goal of the Kingdom of localizing over 50 percent of its military spending by 2030.

Ohali added that the Authority seeks to enable the sector of military industries in Saudi Arabia to become a major tributary of its economy and a major contributor to providing employment opportunities for Saudi youth.

INTRA Defence Technologies is a private high-tech company which designs, develops, manufacture, and fully supports innovative Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), as well as all related sub-systems, which are ITAR-free, to customer and partners around the globe.

Photo: Jane’s/Charles Forrester

Sources: JanesArab NewsAsharq Al-Awsat

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/05/07/saudi-arabia-launches-local-uas-manufacture/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.