BEIRUT — Emirati defense firm Halcon plans to begin offering its tube-launched Hunter 10 drone in early 2023, the CEO of the Edge Group subsidiary told Defense News

“The development of the tube-launched Hunter 10 drone is advancing successfully,” Saeed Al Mansoori added. The first prototype of the Hunter 10 was unveiled during the 2021 Dubai Airshow near its 58-kilogram (128-pound) tube launcher.

The drone weighs 10 kilograms, has a 4.2-meter wingspan and has a length of 3.4 meters. It has a takeoff weight of 47 kilograms and can be fired from the back of an armored or artillery vehicle.

The drone, which has an electric engine, can carry a 10-kilogram payload, fly at a maximum altitude of 2,500 meters and operate at a cruising speed of 60 knots. It’s designed to perform reconnaissance and attack missions, and has a 40-minute endurance.

Al Mansoori said his company will showcase 20 products during the UMEX 2022 trade show, which is focused on unmanned technology and takes place Feb. 21-23.

“Edge will display a range of Halcon’s unmanned, precision-guided systems including the Shadow 25 and Shadow 50 UAVs; Hunter series of drones and tube launchers; the recently launched Reach-S [unmanned combat aerial vehicle]; and the Remote Control Container System,” he told Defense News.

Unmanned systems made by Halcon don’t currently use 5G telecommunication networks, but Al Mansoori said the company has a technology road map that includes the integration of 5G, satellite and other communications technologies into its drones.

At the IDEX defense conference last year, Halcon unveiled SkyKnight, a radar-equipped missile for integration into the Oerlikon air defense system, made by German company Rheinmetall. SkyKnight is the first missile system designed and manufactured in the United Arab Emirates that can counter rockets, artillery and mortars. It was designed to mitigate these threats at a range of up to 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

“Development of the actual SkyKnight system commenced in August 2020 with a full-strength team. Key milestones achieved since that time include the first missile tests out of a canister; full system requirement reviews for user needs and system design; subsystem design; and wind tunnel test model design and manufacturing,” Al Mansoori said.

Agnes Helou was a Middle East correspondent for Defense News. Her interests include missile defense, cybersecurity, the interoperability of weapons systems and strategic issues in the Middle East and Gulf region.

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