The United Arab Emirates signed a deal to purchase 24 B-250 Bader light attack aircraft with Abu Dhabi’s Calidus group during the Dubai Airshow last week.
With an estimated value of $ 620 million, the deal is considered the first in the emirate to involve a aircraft manufactured in the country. In fact, the B-250 is a Brazilian-designed aircraft created by Joseph Kovács, who also designed the Tucano, Embraer training and attack aircraft.
The Bader aircraft was designed by Novaer, a small company made up of former Embraer employees. The B-250 development program was started by Novaer in 2015 and the first prototype was built in just 24 months, completing its maiden flight in June 2017. Months later, the turboprop made its debut at the same event in a partnership with the Calidus group.
Interestingly, the B-250 has the same functions as the Super Tucano: the aircraft can perform ground attack missions, air support, and surveillance and reconnaissance operations, as well as serving as an advanced training platform.
What sets the new plane apart from the Tucano is the intensive use of carbon fiber, which has allowed it to reduce its weight, achieve the best engine performance and facilitate production and maintenance processes. As a result, the B-250 Bader has an operating cost of just $ 1,200 per hour.
The B-250 is equipped with seven fixed weapon points (up to 1,800 kg capacity) and an electro-optical/infrared tower can be mounted on the nose. Its cruising speed is 350 knots and autonomy can reach 10 hours.
Calidus plans to build a factory in the city of Al Ain to produce the B-250 which is expected to come into service in the next decade.