Warplanes: Mexico Rolls Its Own


June 25, 2007: On June 18th, Hydra Technologies de Mexico unveiled its new "Ehecatl" UAV at the Le Bourget Air Show. The Ehecatl, named after the Aztec god of winds, was the product of a 50 month effort by an all-Mexican design team and is built using Mexican-made components, including electronics. It is the first aircraft ever built entirely to a Mexican design using Mexican components. Designed for patrol and surveillance operations, the Ehecatl is expected to be used by the Mexican Armed Forces as well as the national police. Missions will include routine patrol of the country's extensive maritime and land frontiers, internal security, including monitoring criminal, drug, and illegal migration activities, and for a reconnaissance and surveillance in natural disasters.

The Ehecatl, which is about 12 feet long, with a slightly greater wing span, can operate at night as well as during the day. It can fly as fast as 140 kilometers per hour, operate up to 15,000 feet, and remain in the air up to eight hours, with an operational range of 90 kilometers. It is operated by three people, who perform specialized functions (a pilot and two mission specialists), working from specially designed trailer. Other operational details have not been released

Hydra Technologies de Mexico claims that ten countries have expressed an interest in buying the Ehecatl. The company is an affiliate of Hydra Technologies, a British firm, which provided general support and supervision for the Ehecatl project. The project was underwritten by Mexico's national industrial development agency, several investment banks, and some of Mexico's leading technological institutes, which hope to create a domestic aviation industry in the country.




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