Unmanned combat air vehicle to fly soon

Stating that his agency has already identified all the technologies required for the UCAV, Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) Chief and Project Director P S Subramanyam said these technologies include flying wing and stealth.

ADA, a laboratory at the DRDO headquarters here, is part of the project, and work has begun in different parts of the country.  When unveiled, this will particularly help in achieving well-defined missions where the target has been identified already and the need for onboard human guidance is limited or void.

Such a vehicle can be typically used to attack targets without a pilot guiding the vehicle – with a great degree of autonomy.

This would not only eliminate the need for an onboard human crew – helping in enhancing personnel safety – but also reduce the use of equipment necessary for a human pilot like oxygen, seat ejection, flight controls, cockpit etc, which result in a decrease in weight possibly allowing greater payload, range and manoeuvrability, scientists believe.

Subramanyam, who was speaking at the newly-formed Bangalore Defence and Aerospace Journalists’ Forum said the technologies have been evolved and work has begun on configuration in parallel, adding that at some stage, IAF’s requirements will be incorporated into the design.

AWE&C system

In another development, DRDO R&D (Aero & Services Interaction) Chief Controller Prahlada said an indigenous Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System, integrated onboard the Brazilian aircraft EMB145 as per the requirement of IAF, will be rolled out early next year.

Stating that the AEW&C system was being developed by Bangalore-based Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS), a lab under the DRDO for the IAF, he termed it a cost-effective system and added that it would be flight tested in the country later next year.

The indigenous AEW&C system would detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations.

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