Shining Diamonds

The ISR variant of the DA-62MPP made its debut at this year’s Paris Air Show. (David Oliver)

Making its public debut at this year’s Paris Air Show held between 19th and 23rd July was Diamond Aircraft’s DA-62 Multi-Purpose Platform (MPP).

This new aircraft is a seven-seat development of the firm’s DA-42 piston engine light aircraft. Powered by twin Austro Engines AE300 diesel power plants it is being offered in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) or Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) configurations. The engines are fitted with an on-top exhaust system to reduce noise and the heat signature making the aircraft virtually invisible to infrared guided surface-to-air missiles while the composite airframe reduces the aircraft’s radar cross section (RCS).

The DA-62 has an exceptional range and a ten-hour endurance. It has a payload of up to 1562 pounds (710 kilograms) for crew, mission equipment and fuel while the aircraft’s field proven composite technology gives a corrosion-free unlimited airframe lifetime. The ISR variant of the DA-62 is equipped with the lightweight FLIR Systems Star SAFIR 380-HD optronics system, digital line of sight bi-directional datalink and beyond line of sight Ku-band (14 gigahertz/GHz uplink/10.9-12.75GHz downlink) satellite communications. The proposed MPA variant, meanwhile, is offered with Thales’ I-Master airborne surveillance radar.

by David Oliver