Twin engine surveillance aircraft
The DA42 MPP (Multi Purpose Platform) GUARDIAN is a flexible surveillance aircraft based on the DA42 twin-engine aircraft manufactured by Diamond Aircraft Industries.
Based on the mission requirements, the DA42 MPP aircraft can be reconfigured to carry different kinds of equipment. The aircraft is flexible for conversion into an unmanned air vehicle (UAV).
The aircraft can be deployed in border surveillance, reconnaissance and geo-surveys, and can also detect drug trafficking, immigration and pollution across the border. Other mission capabilities of the aircraft include ELINT (electronic signals intelligence) and COMINT (communication intelligence).
From 2008 to 2009 The UK Royal Air Force operated two DA-42 MPPs to meet its surveillance requirements.The aircraft was also used by the UK Ministry during the 2012 Olympics.
Three of these aircraft were purchased in 2011 by Ghana’s government for use in their Air Force. The Ukraine’s Border Guard Service, the Royal Thai Air Force, Nigerian Air Force, Niger Air Force, the Netherlands Air Force, and Austrian Armed Force also purchased DA42 MPP GUARDIAN aircraft.
The airframe of the DA42 MPP GUARDIAN is composed of high strength composite materials which can accommodate a maximum of four members depending on the customised configuration required by the mission.
An equipment compartment is available for the mission specific equipment suite on the DA42 MPP GUARDIAN. Standard features of the aircraft include bubble canopy, horizontal stabiliser tip, mission equipment power supply bus, and provisions for mission equipment wiring.
The aircraft’s dimensions feature an overall length of 8.7m with a height of 2.49m, and a wing span of 13.42m. The empty weight of the aircraft is 1,400kg, and it is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 500kg.
Equipment can also be stored in the universal nose of the DA42 MPP, which can carry 65kg of equipment; the nose pod a payload of 85kg, and the belly pod 80kg of cargo.
Two crew members at a time can fit inside the glass cockpit of the DA42 MPP. It is equipped with Garmin G1000 integrated flight instrument system including a primary flight display and a multi-function display. The cockpit features a monitor fixture to install additional monitors and laptops optionally.
The avionics suite integrates Honeywell KN63 remote disturbance monitoring equipment (DME), WX500 Stormscope lightning detection sensor, and the GFC 700 autopilot, which also reduces the pilot’s workload during long endurance flights.
The DA42 MPP GUARDIAN is fitted with a mission-specific turret and airborne computer, and carries a variety of sensors which can be loaded and unloaded with ease.
The universal nose of the DA42 MPP GUARDIAN can be installed with electro optic / infrared (EO/IR) cameras, high-definition (HD) cameras, laser scanner, and air monitoring sensors.
Data transmission systems such as EnerLinksIII, dVMO, Helicoder III, SOLO H.264, FM Datalink, and SCOTTY SATCOM are also accepted on this aircraft.
The underfloor pod can be installed with Telephonics RDR-1700B maritime search radar, Selex PicoSAR Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Seaspray 5000E multi-mode surveillance radar, Thales I-Master radar system, and airborne COMINT system. The belly and nose pods can house mapping and geographic information systems (GIS).
The power plant of the DA42 MPP GUARDIAN aircraft includes two AUSTRO AE300 inline liquid cooled 4-cylinder piston, common rail engines. Each engine, driving an MT 3-blade hydraulic constant propeller, can generate a maximum power of 168hp and a propeller torque of 513Nm.
The engine of the DA42 MPP GUARDIAN aircraft has a displacement of 1,991cc and burns Jet A, Jet A1, TS-1, RT fuel, No 3 Jet fuel, and JP-8 fuel.
The DA42 MPP can reach a maximum cruising speed of 328km/h TAS (true air speed) but requires a minimum operating speed of 140km/h.
The DA42 MPP achieves a peak range of distance at 1,452km and a maximum altitude of 5,486m. It has a maximum endurance of 12 hours.
The aircraft requires a 700m long runway for take-off and 570m runway for landing.
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