JEDDAH: The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) unveiled in Riyadh on Thursday the strategic drone program Saqr 1.
Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed, president of KACST, said the techniques used in this aircraft put it in the list of the world best UAVs.
“Saqr 1 is equipped with a KA satellite communication system that gives superiority and privilege to this aircraft to fly at a range of more than 2500 km,” he said.
He also stressed the ability of the aircraft to fly low and high when necessary, as well as the ability to carry missiles and guided bombs by the laser system and launch from different heights of 500 to 6,000 meters and up to 10 km with accuracy of less than 1.5 m.
Prince Turki pointed out that sensitive technologies were transferred to this project, such as rocket techniques and sensor systems including high-temperature thermal cameras and laser systems from several international companies with global experience.
The strategic UAV is characterized by its ability to fly at an average altitude of 20,000 feet and a flight time up to 24 hours. It also features automatic takeoff and landing.
It can also use parachutes in case of emergency. It can carry day and night cameras and can be equipped with radar techniques, electronic warfare techniques, electronic jamming and eavesdropping.
Prince Turki said: “The strategic aircraft is made of carbon fiber and glass, and is characterized by light weight and low consumption of fuel due to its good design and manufacturing efficiency.”
He added: “Saqr 1 was designed and manufactured by Saudi hands in KACST, where Saudi national cadres capable of manufacturing, operating and maintaining it were trained.”
“A single system consisting of two aircrafts and an operating room was developed,” he said. “It is a developed system of the first generation, which contains satellite communication and ammunitions.”
He pointed out that work is being undertaken on the third generation of this aircraft through the manufacture of four aircraft and an operating room ending in 2018.