The Democratic Republic of Congo has ordered a number of Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), commonly known as Mwari.
The Mwari is a single-engine turboprop with a high, inverted gull-wing configuration developed by Paramount Group, a South African company, recently relocated to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66B turboprop engine, the Mwari was designed to operate at low altitudes and slow speeds. It can cover multiple mission profiles, including intelligence gathering, maritime surveillance, border patrol and ground attack operations.
The Mwari is poised to replace the Congolese Air Force’s aging fleet of Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot close air support aircraft, which have been grounded for months due to a lack of spare parts. The exact number of aircraft ordered has not been confirmed but is reported to be either three or four.
Paramount Group designed the Mwari to be cost-effective, easy to maintain and capable of operating from austere airstrips, making it a good choice for air forces with low budgets and limited infrastructure. Its launch operator, Mozambique, took delivery of the first Mwari in December 2022.