The latest version of the Selex Galileo Mirach jet target drone is ready for production. The company is also working on two new targets that will complement the current designs.
Unmanned aerial target development at Selex Galileo’s Ronchi dei Legionari facility in northeast Italy dates back to the Meteor company and its piston-engine P1 of 1955. Targets have since evolved through a series of designs, and production is currently centered on the proven Mirach 100/5. This has sold well and has supported the development and operational enhancement of numerous air defense systems and missiles. It can carry a variety of payloads to emulate various threats, including the carriage of up to two Locusta secondary targets. In addition to selling the Mirach 100/5, Selex Galileo also operates target fleets for customers under service provision contracts.
In response to new trends in the nature of air threats, the company has developed the Mirach 100/X. This uses the same ground control station and infrastructure as the Mach 0.85 Mirach 100/5, and has the same payload flexibility. However, aerodynamic refinements and a more powerful Williams International WJ38-7T engine increase speed into the transonic regime, and its radar and infrared signatures have been lowered significantly, making the target more representative of current/future targets. It is also more maneuverable than its predecessor. Development of the Mirach 100/X is complete and the target is ready for production.
While the Mirach 100/X represents the high end of the series, Selex Galileo is now developing two more products to provide capability at the lower end of the spectrum and thus complete the company’s target portfolio. Both use the central body of the 100/5, but are lower-performing to suit customers with limited budgets, and to conduct missions that do not require high performance. Both are ITAR-free systems with no external export restrictions.
The Mirach 40 is a medium subsonic target with small turbine engine, while the Mirach 35P is a low-subsonic target with a piston engine and propeller. Both employ the same basic airframe, payload bays and fuel tanks, and while the Mirach 40 shares a fin/wing configuration with the Mirach 100 series, the Mirach 35P has a more dramatically swept wing mounting endplate fins. Both use the same ground control and launch/recovery systems, an important feature of which is a pneumatic launch system in place of the rocket boosters used by the Mirach 100 targets. The lack of pyrotechnics for launch removes the need for specialist personnel and logistics.