ExpoDefensa 2023: Milkor from South Africa promotes Milkor 380 UAV

At the current ExpoDefensa 2023, Milkor is showcasing a new addition to the increasingly prolific world of drones, the Milkor 380. This medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) drone completed its first flight on September 19, 2023. This UAV is of South African origin.
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South African Milkor 380 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Designed for prolonged Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions, the Milkor 380 is capable of carrying an external payload of 210 kilograms. This capacity allows it to support a variety of equipment, including precision-guided munitions, laser-guided rocket launchers, as well as advanced aerial reconnaissance systems. It is powered by a turbocharged four-stroke, four-cylinder Rotax 915iS engine, offering a maximum speed of 250 km/h and a cruising speed of 150 km/h.

The Milkor 380 is also distinguished by its long endurance, capable of reaching up to 35 hours, and an operational ceiling of up to 30,000 feet. It is equipped with five hardpoints that can accommodate a variety of weapons and equipment, such as synthetic aperture radar, jammers, and electro-optical gimbals. All avionics, communication, and payload integration systems have been developed in-house by Milkor.

The company has also established strategic partnerships to extend its capabilities, notably with Aerodata AG to integrate advanced mission systems and airborne sensor technologies into the Milkor 380, thereby enhancing its potential in maritime surveillance operations.

The deployment of the Milkor 380 is planned to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement units, defense teams, and border patrol units in South Africa. This represents a significant step for the country's UAV industry.

In the broader context of modern warfare, drones like the Milkor 380 play an increasingly crucial role. Their use in various recent conflicts has demonstrated their intrinsic value. Their ability to operate in dangerous or inaccessible environments, while reducing risks to human life, makes them particularly suited to modern military operations.

The increasing integration of these systems into African military strategies, as observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado Province, reflects this trend. The rising defense spending in Africa is facilitating the deployment of these technologies to improve national military capabilities.

The Milkor 380, as Milkor's flagship product and the largest armed UAV designed and built in Africa, represents a significant advance for the South African defense and security industry, with a potentially significant impact on the global landscape of drones and surveillance technologies.