Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI), a subsidiary of the Tawazun group, and its international partners, Piaggio Aero and Saab, have confirmed that their latest offering, a missions surveillance aircraft called the Multirole Patrol Aircraft (MPA) is on schedule, with the first prototype set for its first flight in mid-2014 in Italy.
The announcement was made during the International Defense Exhibition & Conference (IDEX 2013) which is currently taking place in Abu Dhabi until February 21.
ADASI is considerably investing in the MPA P180 project, a multi-purpose version of Piaggio Aero’s renowned P180 Avanti II platform and mission system integration provided by Swedish company, Saab.
The UAE-based company and its partners are actively promoting the MPA as a high-tech solution for maritime patrol, ground surveillance, tactical Intelligence ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and COMNIT (intelligence, technical and intelligence information) security, and have identified Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East as the target markets.
Since announcing the partnership in July 2012, company officials have confirmed that the programme is on schedule, having successfully completed important milestones in the last six months. Additionally, the first flight of the prototype is scheduled for mid-2014, followed by the first flight of the pre-series production for later that year.
Ali Al Yafei, CEO of ADASI commented: “ADASI – together with its partners, Piaggio Aero and Saab – is very proud to be a main player in the development of this programme. We are highly confident that the performance drivers, multi-purpose capabilities, state-of-art-technology and the economics of the aircraft will make the MPA P180 one of the best sellers in the near future.”
He added: “This product is the first-of-its-kind and we remain committed to working with leading industry players to continue to develop and offer innovative technologies and solutions to contribute to the global defense and security market.”
The aircraft is offering the best combination of excellent performance and attractive economics, both in acquisition and operating costs. It will be able to fly up to 41,000 feet, with an outstanding endurance of 10+ flight hours, a maximum range of 3,300 Nm (nautical mile) and a best in class cruise speed of 350 Knots. The range and endurance of the MPA will make it uniquely suited for any surveillance, law enforcement or security mission.
The MPA P180 is set to be a game changer in its sector when compared to its competitors thanks to its superior performance in terms of endurance, range, ceiling, payload capacity and low power consumption.
The MPA’s first application, developed with Saab, will be dedicated to Maritime Patrol. Therefore, a high performance Search Radar and EO/IR sensors suite will be integrated into a sophisticated mission management system to conduct a wide variety of missions, making the MPA one of the most functional and advanced aircraft available on the market.