AIR POWER

Company Introduces New Light Attack Aircraft

4/2/2018
By Connie Lee
Bronco II

Bronco Combat Systems USA

Members of Bronco Combat Systems USA have developed a two-crew precision strike aircraft based on a legacy platform, according to the company.

Bronco II can operate up to 31,000 feet and carry large mission systems in its internal bay, said Bronco Systems Capital Executive and South Africa-based Paramount Group International Chairman and Founder Ivor Ichikowitz. The system was specifically designed as a light attack aircraft to provide hybrid intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and close-air support capabilities. It is based on the advanced high-performance reconnaissance light aircraft, which is already in production, according to a company news release.

Ichikowitz noted operating costs add up to under $1,000 an hour.

“The acquisition cost is [also] highly competitive with its competitors,” he said.

The Bronco II production prototype has already completed 350 hours of testing, Ichikowitz noted, adding that the system is designed to operate in remote areas.

Operators “liked the handling of the aircraft, they liked the design of the aircraft, they very much liked the fact that it had 180-degree visibility — they liked the fact that … it didn’t need prepared runways,” he said. “We’ve tested not only the technical aspect, but also the performance and the operations aspects of the aircraft very extensively over a number of years.”

Bronco Combat Systems is a joint effort between South Africa’s Paramount Group International and American defense contractor Fulcrum Concepts. Ichikowitz said the Paramount team has been working in an “asymmetric environment in Africa all our lives” and “we understand the asymmetrical environment.”

“We foresaw the fact that over a period of time the U.S. would no longer be engaged in supersonic to supersonic aerial warfare, that tanks would not be going up against tanks and the U.S. would have a requirement for a find, fix and finish aircraft which was driven by significant constraints,” he said.

The aircraft’s open architecture allows users to plug and play multiple systems, including sensors, weapons and artificial intelligence, “in real time and literally overnight,” he said.

“It can fly with missiles on Monday, a gun on Tuesday, … an ISR configuration on Wednesday and a training capacity on Thursday,” he said. “It literally is that simple to reconfigure.”

Topics: Air Power, Emerging Technologies, Aviation

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