Brics Financial Media

Milkor opens doors for future UAV cooperation between South Africa and the world

1 February 2024

South Africa has long had a great appreciation by countries across the world for its resilience and ability to adapt to different circumstances. As a result, it has enjoyed major political and diplomatic engagements that have effectively assisted in boosting the country's economy and building on its democracy. Multilateral and Bilateral trade agreements across different sectors have increased South Africa’s influence on the global economy with many countries entering into long-term agreements.

More commonly known for its large agricultural activities, leading tourism industry and abundance of natural resources, South Africa has many lesser-known industries and has remained a major role player in many technological sectors. One such a sector has always been the development of defence equipment and solutions for domestic and international use.

Milkor, a privately owned South African Defence solutions provider, is no exception and has spear-headed the development of unmanned systems over the last decade. Their latest system, the Milkor 380 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is a true showcase of the skills and potential this country has to offer. Measuring at 18.6m in wingspan with a maximum take-off weight of 1300kg, this drone has the capability to perform missions across different areas of interest ranging from defence to wildlife conservation and humanitarian relief operations. The Milkor 380’s impressive external payload capacity of 210kg allows it to conduct routine surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence operations for extended periods of time, while allowing interoperability between maritime, border and wildlife security clusters.

The Milkor 380 UAV placed South Africa among a handful of countries that have successfully developed and flown a UAV of this size. “We are proud to showcase to the world what capabilities still reside in South Africa and are determined, more than ever, to ensure these technologies are available to other countries as well”, the company said during a media briefing following their successful maiden flight in September 2023.

The successful development and testing of this platform opens the door for cooperation between South Africa and the rest of the world. While continuing to build on existing trade agreements in the more known sectors, the successful development of the Milkor 380 will allow countries to join forces and make use of technologies that were up and till now, out of reach for most. Milkor’s dedication to developing new technologies and support from the South African government will allow countries to implement these systems across different spheres within their operations and enable them to conduct operations efficiently and safely.

by Daniel du Plessis, Marketing and Communications Director, Milkor

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