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Paris Air Show: New target drone on target

20th June 2017 - 10:30 by Beth Maundrill in Paris

Paris Air Show: New target drone on target

Leonardo has introduced its new Mirach 40 (M-40) aerial target system to the market at the Paris Air Show 2017.

The company is looking to provide a complete training service with the new aerial target which includes the target itself, the ground control station and the launch catapult.

The company told Shephard that it has demonstrated the M-40 to potential customers but could not disclose who it is production ready for.

The new platform is based on the company’s Mirach 100/5 target drone which has been used as a threat simulator in a variety of international armed forces including France, Italy and the UK.

‘The Mirach 100/5 was a tethered target which meant that there was a lower cost to the target itself,’ explained Leonardo Constrastono, sales support and services at Leonardo, ‘but the system itself was quite expensive because you had to use another unmanned aircraft to used it.’

‘Now everything is in one unit so while the target itself may be more expensive it is more convenient and the operating costs are less.’

Constrastono said the company has tested the target up to six-g but it could operate up to nine-g, it can reach speeds up to 200m/s and can operate at altitudes from 5m to 8,000m.

The system is designed to be destroyed, however it can be retrieved and re-used when possible.

The M-40 is a remote pilots system that can simulate a range of airborne targets including various aircraft and missiles. The target drone can also simulate radar, infrared and visual threats.

The M-40 is suitable for a range of training purposes, from Ground Based Air Defence artillery training to the simulation of high-performance aerial threats for navy and air force training

The company will continue to offer the Mirach 100/5 to customers. The M-40 uses the same ground control station as the Mirach 100/5, pilots therefore need little training to switch to the new drone and armed forces can operate mixed fleets of M-40 and Mirach 100/5 drones.

The M-40 designed to operate without pyrotechnics, even for launch and parachute deployment.

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