Denel, South Korea in talks to integrate Al-Tariq bomb kit on FA-50s

12:58:00 AM
CAPE TOWN / SEOUL,  --Denel Dynamics, the missile and UAV division of South Africa's Denel, is in talks with South Korea about integrating the Al-Tariq precision-guided bomb kit with the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) FA-50 light fighter, a senior company executive has disclosed.

Thiens Botha, the company's product manager for stand-off weapons, told IHS Jane's on 23 April that the discussions involved the GPS/INS-guided variant, with fold-out wings and booster motor giving a range of about 100 km. The wingless variant has a range of about 40 km, depending on the release altitude.

Imaging infrared and semi-active laser seeker options are also available for the Al-Tariq in a guidance and extension-range kit also known as the Umbani, which can be fitted to Mk 81, Mk 82, and Mk 83 bombs. The kit is a joint venture between Denel Dynamics and Tawazun Dynamics of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Botha said the South Korean talks marked the start of an international marketing campaign following the completion of "several hundred" kits for the UAE. The kits were now operational on the UAE's Mirage 2000-9 fighters and Hawker 102 trainers, he said.

Manufacturing would move to the UAE around the end of 2016, after which the South African company would focus on development. This was likely to include a radar seeker and a range extension of up to 200 km, said Botha.

A stand-off bomb requirement was anticipated for the South African Air Force (SAAF) around 2018 and initial discussions had begun with Saab on requirements for the potential integration of the Al-Tariq on the SAAF's Saab Gripen fighters. Al-Tariq is already integrated on the SAAF's BAE Systems Hawk Mk 120 lead-in fighter trainers.

A demonstration firing on 23 April at a Rheinmetall Defence-Denel exhibition at South Africa's Overberg test range saw an Al-Tariq launched from a SAAF Hawk at 30,000 feet strike less than a metre from the designated point of impact after a camera-monitored flight of 40 km.

A full-sized mock-up of the Denel Dynamics Al-Tariq/Umbani modular glide bomb.

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