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Indian firms to weaponise Israeli drones under IAF Project Cheetah

Zarvan

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Indian firms to weaponise Israeli drones under IAF Project Cheetah​

Under Indian Air Force's Project Cheetah, Indian defence manufacturing firms will weaponise Israeli drones.​



Manjeet Negi
Manjeet Negi 'New DelhiSeptember 19, 2022UPDATED: September 19, 2022 04:40 IST


The Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is capable of returning to base autonomously in case of lost communication. (Image for representation)


Indian Air Force (IAF) is all set to introduce Project Cheetah which will help weaponise Israeli drones in all defence wings via Indian manufacturing units.



Under this project, India's Heron drones are to be upgraded and armed with Israel's help to carry out offensive operations against the enemy. “The project cheetah would be awarded to the Indian defence firms now who will equip them with missiles and other surveillance capabilities of advanced capability,” government sources told India Today TV.
ALSO READ | Anti-drone plan: How India is strengthening its unmanned warfare power

Made in Israel, Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is a medium-altitude UAV and can carry up to 250 kg of weight, including a thermographic camera, airborne ground surveillance, visible light, radar systems, etc. The Heron UAV is capable of returning to base autonomously in case of lost communication.

Heron drones of the three services, the Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Army, and the Indian Navy will be upgraded to be armed with laser-guided bombs, air-to-ground, and air-launched anti-tank guided missiles. This project is in the last stage of decision-making.

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Apr 19, 2022
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I am against this. That is a perfectly fine surveillance platform. No need to tweek it.

UCAVs aren't required untill they are something like Avenger system of USA. They are costly vs the avg Sam missile which will have to pull less Gs to get it down.
 

Kyusuibu Honbu

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I am against this. That is a perfectly fine surveillance platform. No need to tweek it.

UCAVs aren't required untill they are something like Avenger system of USA. They are costly vs the avg Sam missile which will have to pull less Gs to get it down.
Currently we lack a robust capability for fight small scale conflicts

Indian armed forces don't have a single UCAV operational
 
Apr 19, 2022
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Currently we lack a robust capability for fight small scale conflicts

Indian armed forces don't have a single UCAV operational
Just guess the cost of a 2 decade old Strela 10 ammunition. Or a 00s SAAB RBS70.

Now guess the cost of a Heron type UAV along with its sensor suite.

Propeller driven armed UAVs have zero survival chance against a functional 90s SAM system.
 
Apr 19, 2022
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UAVs are useless but don't UCAV munitions outrange these SAMs
The moment you add something like even SPIKE LR missile with decent ATGM capability with a longer range than that of manpads, it cannot be carried by any or all UCAV.

It needs bigger UAV with a payload of 500+ kgs.

And the moment a bigger UAV is involved, a old S125 will still shoot down it.

The problem is the absence of self protection suite. For any capability to operate on contested airspace the platform needs to have a MAWS/RWR/LWR sensor suite and a Self Protection Jammer and a SATCOM capability.

Now when you add these things, the UAV becomes big. Way big. It becomes something in the category of Heron TP.

And the biggest draw back, becomes damm costly. Something like 20-30 million USD a piece.

But if you have a jet powered UAV , which can do like 30-40k feet altitude, high subsonic speed, an internal weapons bay and all these self protection suite sensors and SATCOM.

That's when the game changes. That's something which can fly in contested airspace, release say 4 loitering munitions and return back for another sortie.

USA has Avenger Program for That. Let's see what we are able to do.
 

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