KENTRON BUZZARD TARGET DRONE SYSTEM

The Buzzard system was designed by Kentron, a division of Denel (Pty) Ltd as a low-speed remotely piloted drone system that was designed for facilitating the training and evaluation of crews in surface-to-air weapons operation.  The drone was used to emulate close-in, medium and long-range flight profiles and the close-in maneuvers of attack aircraft.  The drone could also be used to provide a cost-effective, reliable target drone suitable for the development and qualification of selected surface-to-air weapon systems.  Conversion of the system for low-cost RPV surveillance could be achieved by fitting the drone with an observation payload.

KENTRON INDUSTRIES CHAMPION REMOTELY PILOTED VEHICLE

Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) experiments in South Africa (later known as Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV)’s) were initiated by Project “Gharra” that was approved on 19 February 1976.  The intention was to provide the South African Army with a battlefield surveillance system.  Tests began in 1977 with a fibre-glass covered welded tubular metal framework powered by a McCullagh 101 two stroke engine at the CSIR facility in Magaliesburg. 

TELEDYNE RYAN MODEL 124 FIREBEE

The Teledyne Ryan Model 124 Firebee (United States Air Force designation BQM-34A) is one of the best known target drones in the world with it’s origins dating back to 1947 when the Ryan Aeronautical Company received the first contract to develop and produce the first jet-powered airborne target system.  The first production model of this version flew in 1960 and has been operated by the US Air Force, Army and Navy as well as the Royal Canadian Air Force.