Newly-formed Bronco Combat Systems launched the Bronco II light attack aircraft for the US military market, leveraging the South African-designed AHRLAC platform with a US-based mission systems integrator named Fulcrum Concepts. Paramount Group launched the AHRLAC in 2011 and announced earlier this month that the first production aircraft off the assembly line in Wonderboom, South Africa is close to being delivered to an undisclosed customer.
Meanwhile, Paramount has formed a US-based subsidiary and teamed up with original AHRLAC supplier Aerospace Development Corp and Virginia-based Fulcrum Concepts to form Bronco Combat Systems and offer a US-built version called the Bronco II to the US military. As a twin-boomed two-seater optimised for slow-speed observation and light attack, the Bronco II resembles its namesake – the North American/Rockwell OV-10 Bronco. Unlike it’s Vietnam-era predecessor, the Bronco II is a single-engined aircraft with a slightly forward swept wing.
Bronco Combat Systems has started looking to create a manufacturing base for the Bronco II in the USA, the company says. Discussions are also underway with “highly respected and experienced” US suppliers for the Bronco II. Boeing is not identified in the announcement, but the US manufacturer has an existing partnership with Paramount. The two companies signed a broad partnership agreement in 2014, and followed that up two-years later with a deal for Boeing to develop a system to manage the sensor and weapons on the AHRLAC. In March 2016 Boeing announced a partnership with Paramount Group to cooperate on an advanced mission system for the armed variant of the AHRLAC known as “MWARI”.
The AHRLAC (Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft) is a light reconnaissance and counter-insurgency aircraft developed in South Africa by AHRLAC Holdings, a joint venture between the Paramount Group and Aerosud. It is designed to perform as an inexpensive, more versatile substitute for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and modern light attack aircraft.