Desi Mini UAVs Ready for Production

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  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

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    BANGALORE: Indian security agencies are soon likely to have micro and mini aerial vehicles (MAVs) under their command.

    The desi unmanned MAVs or mini UAVs will soon be produced at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) after HAL signs an MoU with the vehicle developers on the transfer of technology to manufacture custom-built MAVs.

    The vehicles will be jointly developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) and National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) for security agencies such as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and National Security Guard (NSG).

    The ADE-NAL combo had developed three micro air vehicles — Black Kite, Golden Hawk and Pushpak — in 2008 with an initial investment of `20 crore.

    The team also developed two mini air vehicles — Indian Eagle (previously Imperial Eagle) and Slybird.

    In the past six years, these MAVs underwent trials demonstrating their capabilities. Each MAV is expected to cost between Rs 5 and Rs 10 lakh, depending upon their configuration.

    In an exclusive interview, V S Chandrashekar, Associate Director of ADE, said the MAVs are a great advantage in security missions.

    “They are compact, man-portable (can be carried in a backpack and requires two persons to operate), easy to unpack and can be deployed within 10 to 15 minutes. They are difficult to be detected and are effective for close range and low-level surveillance,” said Chandrashekar.

    In addition to CRPF, NSG and BSF, some of the state police agencies have also shown interest in the MAVs. “Our teams have been demonstrating the MAVs to these agencies. The ownership cost of which is significantly less compared to the bigger unmanned aerial vehicles. Thus, multiple vehicles could be deployed for completing a mission. Police teams can fly these MAVs over urban populace and assess safety and collateral damage during accidents or riots,” said Chandrashekar.

    When asked whether the MAVs can be used as weapons in future, the scientist said days are not far when these systems will carry lethal payloads.

    “These can be deployed to create nuisance by making critical systems inoperative through jamming and interference. Kamikaze missions (aerial attacks) are also possible with MAVs,” Chandrashekar added.

    THE MAV CLUB

    MAVs Golden Hawk, Black Kite and Pushpak are in the 300 mm class. They weigh about 300 to 450 gm and have an endurance of 20 to 30 minutes. At about 20 knots (37 km per hour) cruise speed it has a range of 1 km and a ceiling altitude of 100 metre. They carry a fixed daylight camera. Indian Eagle and Slybird weigh about 3.5 kg with an endurance of 50-60 minutes. At about 20 knots cruise speed, it has a range of 10 km and a ceiling altitude of 300 metre. They carry a daylight or infrared camera.

    Desi Mini UAVs Ready for Production - The New Indian Express
     
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