The General Headquarters of the United Arab Emirates Armed Force (GHQ) has announced the signature of a contract with Abu Dhabi Autonomous Systems Investments (ADASI) for the acquisition of eight P.1HH HammerHead Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), designed and developed by Piaggio Aerospace.
All the aircraft will be equipped with EO/IR (electro-optical infrared) cameras, radar and advanced communications systems. The contract, valued at 1,327m dirham (€316m), also covers integrated logistic support, including training.
The contract marks the first export order for the P.1HH, a multipurpose vehicle based on the Piaggio Aerospace P.180 Avanti II twin turboprop. The Italian Air Force was the launch customer for the HammerHead, with an order for 6 air vehicles and 3 ground stations, announced in February 2015.
The P.1HH was developed in partnership with Finmeccanica’s Airborne & Space Systems Division (formerly known as Selex ES). Compared with the P.180 Avanti, the HammerHead features a slightly larger wing span to sustain larger vehicle masses and a quick detachable joint to the outer wings for rapid aerial deployment in remote areas.
Billed as the fastest MALE UAV (395 KTAS), the HammerHead is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-66B turbine engines integrated with low-noise 5-blade scimitar propellers. Maximum endurance is 16 hours.