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India developing combat drone

Lankan Ranger

Aug 9, 2009
India developing combat drone

Taking another step towards adding to its military might, India has launched a project to develop its first unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV).

Work on development of the basic design and technology for the highly intelligent drones has begun at the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), DRDO, in Bengaluru.

The airframe and accessories are to be designed to carry a payload (bombs and missiles) which is completely hidden for an advanced stealth design.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the 5th Air Chief Marshal L.M. Katre Memorial Lecture here on Saturday, Dr VK Saraswat, Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister and Director General, R&D, DRDO, said, “A Brazilian Embraer used as Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform in India will fly by the end of June. I witnessed the first one roll out in February”.

Three more Brazilian Embraer aircraft are arriving in India to be used as AWACS platform as part of a deal signed by India and Brazil. The AWACS system has been developed for the Indian Air Force by Bengaluru-based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS). “Moreover, I believe that Indian UCAV will be
powered by Kaveri engine one day,” Dr Saraswat added.

“The next test-firing of the ballistic missile interceptor will be conducted in December. This one will be exo-atmospheric. The first one was test-fired on March 6. We are also testing a 30-km range Agni Scramjet-powered cruise missile in attack mode,” he said.

Noting that India lacked airborne monitoring and tracking system in missiles, Dr Saraswat said, “India must augment its production capacity and set up facilities for large-scale production of aircraft and missiles. Our technology base is on par with the international standards. The onus now is on the government as well as private players to produce large number of missiles and aircraft.”

“We also lack infrastructure. The very fact that we have to test the indigenous Kaveri engine in Russia shows our lack in infrastructure. There is a vacuum, I feel, in terms of human resources, infrastructure, material and sensor technology and mission mode project management”, he said.

International collaborations with respectable work share and limited technology acquisition through offset programmes among other things could help India bridge the gap, Dr Saraswat felt.

On the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, Dr Saraswat, clarified: “The LCA obviously is not fifth generation. But we are close to fourth. For fifth generation, all-aspect stealth is very important.

The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft is already on the drawing board. The LCA Navy version will be a reality soon and Agni-V is in the making,” he informed.

‘India developing combat drone’ | Deccan Chronicle

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