Predator XP and Aludra

SHAH ALAM: At the recent IDEX 2011 show it was announced an export version of the Predator UAV or UCAS in US parlance, is now available for non-Nato countries. The US decision to block the export of the Predator or its much more capable Reaper has led to various countries to turn to the Israel for MALE UAVs.

From the release, I have no idea how the export version of the UAV now called the Predator XP is different from the US or Nato versions. Perhaps they had fixed the wings so it cannot be wired for guided bombs or missiles retrospectively.

MQ-1 Predator armed with Hellfire missiles

Excerpt from the GA-ASI statement at IDEX
Due to U.S. Government export restrictions, sales of all GA-ASI UAS had been limited to the U.S.Government, NATO, and other select allied nations. However, GA-ASI has recently expanded its aircraft portfolio to offer an export version of its flagship Predator UAS, Predator XP. Offering comparable ISR capabilities as Predator, Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. Government to be proposed for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Predator XP exhibits the same physical dimensions, altitude, speed, and long endurance (up to 40 hours) as the original “RQ-1” Predator aircraft first flown by the U.S. Air Force.

Battle-proven since its first combat flight in the Balkans in 1995, Predator aircraft have amassed over one million flight hours to date. Predator XP is equipped with the same ISR capabilities employed on the RQ-1. The aircraft may be integrated with multiple exportable sensors, including state-of-the-art Electro-Optical Infrared (EO/IR) cameras and GA-ASI’s Lynx® Multi-mode Radar.


Since we are short of sensors and the much more capable, Predator XP is suddenly available, I sincerely hope that there is enough money in RMK10 to buy at least 10 of the UAVs. Five to be based in Subang and another 5 in Labuan. The control centre could be based in Subang while a small operational detachment could prepare the Predator for flight operations in Labuan.
Since the Predators depending on versions, cost between US$3 million to US$6 million, the procurement package should not cost more than RM320 million , the cost of a single Super Hornet. The RM320 million is inclusive of the air vehicles, command and control centre, training, 10 year support costs and payment for the satellite usage for at least five years.

Video at Howstuff Works.

With 10 Predator XP we will within two years boost our ISR capabilities more than 50 per cent or even higher. We will have more eyes in the skies than shooters. To me its a wonderful conundrum. We are already short of shooters anyway and those available lack the precise information they need to perform their job effectively.

And what should we do the Aludra? Since we have spent a lot money and effort on it, we should not throw it away of course. We should turned it into a UCAV since no one will sell us one. Yes, the Israelis will happily sell us the Harpy but thats out of the question.
Just make sure that its endurance its boosted to 10 hours from the present four or five hours and it has the capability to carry a 500 kg bomb.

A win-win situation I believe. Unless someone thinks the little money we have be spent on other things..,,,

–Malaysan Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 1179 Articles
Shah Alam

11 Comments

  1. I prefer the Schiebel Camcopter S-100 which can operated from naval ship.

    Reply
    The Camcopter is limited in range and users. It will be much better for the PDRM to use them instead of the ATM.

  2. why we need to pay for satellite usage??why not we just use our own satellite.i am afraid our system might get tipped off by the owner of the satellite.u know who is he.

    Reply
    Even if we are able to use our own satellite we still need to pay for its usage. We dont have any government owned satellites in the first

  3. Marhalim,

    Not realistic to turn the Aludra into UCAV which can carry 500 kg bomb! Who has the technology to do it here.

    If we are looking for ISR capability there are cheaper and affordable options other than the Predator.I prefer the BAT which is 100 times cheaper than the Predator, can carry maximun load of 34 kg, has an endurance up to 13 hours flying time and a range of 970 nautical miles.The BAT can be launched from land or ship.

  4. Nice idea. Havent seen anything here on the decision to buy the Turkish Pars .

    Deal signed at Idex,right?

    Reply
    It was widely under-reported in the mainstream press and online sites as well. Until I can get more on the issue I will stay out of it. No it was signed during DS Najib visit to Turkey last (late Feb.2011)

    Her is the NST take on it.

  5. Errr… com sat, not surveillance sat. go on \, say his name, Ananda Krishnan. He’s Malaysian too. Not many KH-13s in private ownership.

    We really don’t need armed predators.

    Simon

  6. The real deal killer is 2% commission cap on FMS sales and FCPA controls on commercial sales.

  7. Lets widen our horizon.The traditional countries that produces UAV’s are the USA, Britain, Europe and maybe Singapore and Indonesia. But then are we forgetting China? China is progressing very fast-of course with some help from Israel. But they have a wide range of UAV’s made and under flight testing now.There is even a Predator look alike-copy cat is the most flatering thing tpo do. So China can produce the J10 and now even the Stealth J20, why not take a look at China’s UAV’s?

    Reply
    QC and thorough life support remain a major concern for PRC made weapons. The Thais had purchased some number of PRC weapons in the 90s and has retired them recently so it does not look very smart to buy from them at this juncture.

  8. No doubt, in years to come Chinese UAV technology will mature to a point where they are comparable to western ones, but not yet!

  9. The announcement of HeiTech Padu and Thales for combat systems for second generation opv and upgrading the kasturi.

    Defence professionals website.

    Reply
    It is offered for SGPV and being integrated on the Kasturi class SLEP. No free lunch of course they are expecting that the same system for the Kasturi will be fitted to SGPV/LCS, with the older ship being the test vessel for the new ships. This is a common practice in the West. But one must remember that this is Malaysia. As I had mentioned in the posting, Thales is looking hard over its shoulders for Saab. Thales is in a commanding position as two candidates for the project, the Gowind and the Sigma are both designed for Thales systems.

  10. For the sake of commonality and so the support boys at the RMN dont have more headaches, lets hope we don’t go Swedish. It’s bad we enough we already have a few different kinds of CMS’s, radars, etc, to support.

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