Boeing, South African Company Cooperate on 'Mwari' Aircraft

 - March 8, 2016, 2:48 PM
Boeing and Paramount will cooperate to develop an integrated mission system for the Mwari light turboprop. (Photo: Paramount Group)

Boeing and South Africa-based Paramount Group will collaborate to develop a mission system for the latter company’s “Mwari” reconnaissance and light attack aircraft. The collaboration builds on a 2014 agreement, the companies said March 8.

Named for a Shona deity, the Mwari is a high wing, twin-boom aircraft powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66B turboprop engine and pusher propeller. It seats two crew in stepped tandem configuration. Maximum cruise speed is 272 knots, with a mission range of 1,150 nm and 31,000-foot service ceiling, according to Paramount. The wings accommodate six hard points for external stores and weapons; the fuselage contains a 20 mm cannon.

In an announcement they made at the Global Aerospace Summit in Abu Dhabi, the companies described the Mwari as a militarized variant of Paramount’s advanced, high performance, reconnaissance light aircraft. Boeing will develop an integrated mission system for the aircraft that supports intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and light-strike missions.

“This is a momentous milestone” in the aircraft’s evolution, said Ivor Ichikowitz, Paramount Group executive chairman. “The multi-role aircraft will become a significant player in the global aerospace industry. We believe in the commercial success of the aircraft and its impact on the future of the African aerospace industry by boosting advanced technologies, job creation and skills development.”

Paramount was formed in 1994 and lays claims to being the largest privately owned defense and aerospace company in Africa. Its Africa regional headquarters is located in Midrand, north of Johannesburg.

Boeing said the collaboration fosters technology development in Africa and creates new opportunities for its defense business. “Our relationship with Paramount will help us access markets that are new to Boeing,” said Jeffrey Johnson, Boeing Military Aircraft vice president of business development.