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| 17 June, 2017

First stage of Saudi drone factory complete: KACST

Solar dishes are seen behind the entrance sign of the King Abdulaziz city of Sciences and Technology, Al-Oyeynah Research Station, May 21, 2012.

Solar dishes are seen behind the entrance sign of the King Abdulaziz city of Sciences and Technology, Al-Oyeynah Research Station, May 21, 2012.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed

17 June 2017
Nadah Hameed
Jeddah - The King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has announced that the first stage of a drone factory in Riyadh is almost complete.

KACST’s Supervisor General of Special Programs Khaled Al-Hussan, who is overseeing the Saudi drone project, said that the factory is projected to manufacture drones suitable for military and civil purposes, scientific research, urban planning and security.

One of the drones that will be manufactured at the facility is the Saqr 1 drone which is made of carbon and glass fiber and is equipped with a satellite communications system. The drone can fly within a range of 2,500 km for 24 to 48 hours.

When it comes to who will use the drones, Al-Hussan told Arab News that “Taqnia Aeronautics is the party concerned with marketing and determining the market demand for the projected drones.”

KACST has also produced another three drones of medium size — the Saqr 2, 3 and 4. The units were first developed in 2012 with a total of 38 built as of August 2014.

Saqr 2 can fly for eight-hours at a speed of 120 km per hour at an altitude of 5,000 meters while the Saqr 4 is capable of carrying a load of up to 5 kg.

The Saqr 4 can reach a maximum speed of 120 kph at an altitude of 5,000 meters and can fly for five to six hours.

All the models are equipped with cameras for aerial photography.

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© Arab News 2017