Iomax, the manufacturer of the distinctive Archangel light attack aircraft is debuting its Block 2 model aircraft here at the Dubai Airshow. 

The Block 2 model which is derived from the Thrush S2R-600 agricultural aircraft differs from the earlier Block 1 and Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA) with the addition of the large L-3 Wescam MX-25 electro-optical camera system under the fuselage.

The new sensor radically increases the platform’s ability to reconnoiter from stand-off ranges.

The aircraft has also undergone some minor modifications to adjust the aircraft’s center of gravity.

The Block 2 is the focus of the company’s first Foreign Military Sales request from Egypt. Iomax is currently funding a U.S. Air Force Non-Defense Military Aircraft (NDMA) certification and airworthiness assessment of the Archangel which paves the way for the sale of the platform through the FMS process.

“The Block 2 with the MX-25 is a game changer,” says Seamus Flatley, the VP for business development at Iomax, “The platform is attracting significant interest across the world.”

To widen the customer base, the company has also developed an unarmed version of the Block aircraft capable of performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions only. These are being targeted at the African market where several nations would face restrictions on the sale of an armed variant.

The Archangels already have a formidable operational record: the combined fleet including those operated by Egypt, Jordan and the UAE have dropped around 4,000 weapons since the type entered service.

The original batch of AT-802-derived BPAs operated by the UAE have now been largely replaced with Archangels with the AT-802s handed to other regional air forces. At least six were gifted to Jordan while 12 have been handed to the Egyptian Air Force.

The UAE is currently mulling a top-up order for Block 1 Archangel aircraft.

Iomax is continuing to develop the Archangel concept, one option is to install Leonardo’s Osprey electronically-scanned array radar in the Archangel’s wing tips.