Photo: Armada International
The Bronco II is South Africa’s North American debut of the armed AHRLAC aka Mwari reconnaissance and light attack aircraft, initially being marketed as a contender for the US military’s OA-X light attack fighter program.
It uses a single Canadian Pratt & Whitney PT6A engine.
Aerospace Development Corporation (formerly Ahrlac Holdings) CEO Paul Potgieter – managing the local joint venture between Paramount Group and Aerosud – was also the programme manager for the Denel Rooivalk Attack Helicopter. The Bronco II marks the introduction of the first local military aircraft since the Rooivalk project, which ultimately failed to secure any international sales despite featuring some impressive technological advancements and having come at R&D costs of R10 billion.
The AHRLAC project has been privately funded since its inception in 2009 and is perfectly suited to border patrols, counter-insurgency related work, and even as a light attack aircraft. The armed variant features a 20mm cannon as well as 6 hardpoints for a combination of missiles and general purpose bombs.
The aircraft is reported to cost $10 million per unit while aiming for operating costs of $1000/hour.
The aircraft is currently in production and will be delivered to pre-production customers once completed.