UAE’s turboprop ambitions

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Calidus B-250 Al Badr turboprop two-seat light attack aircraft was publicly displayed for the first time at the Dubai Air Show in November. Designed in cooperation with Brazil’s Novaer, the B-250 was designed by Joseph Kovács, as was the EMB-314/A-29A Super Tucano that it strongly resembles. The aircraft on display carried a Brazilian civil registration, PR-ZNU, suggesting it may have been built in Brazil.

The B-250 has a retractable ventral turret mounting electro-optical sensors, six underwing and one centre-line hard point for weapons, external fuel tanks and sensor pods. It uses the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite, including an integral head-up display.

Powered by a 1,600shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A turboprop and making extensive use of carbon fibre structural composite material, the B-250 has a maximum payload of 3,600kg (7,935lb), a service ceiling of 30,000ft (9,144m) and a range of 2,430 nautical miles (4,500km). Little information has been released about the status of the B-250, which appears to reflect the UAE’s current goal of developing an indigenous aerospace industry. David C Isby