Rustom 2 MALE UAV

Advaidhya Tiwari

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Here's a crazy idea:

How about implement auto-pilot on Mig21, use embed Rustom's datalink etc and turn Mig21s into unmanned bombers ??? (can easily do this out to a range of 400kms combat radius)

Worst case they be sent on a one-way trip with 1000 kg explosive out to 1500kms!!

There're nearly 300 Mig21s!!!

Manned fighters need to be regularly put in training sorties in order to keep the pilots adept at their skills. Once it's turned into unmanned, they don't need to be flown as often, because the operator training could be 90% on a simulator, as such the life of the aircraft can be preserved for decades. If it crashes, no big deal!!

(India implemented auto-pilot on Jaguars! Not to make it unmanned though)
Several reasons:
  1. MiG21 does not have enough space for advanced avionics, FBW and other LRU.
  2. The control surface of MiG21 is not conducive for automation
  3. People sitting on ground stations will find it hard to see via a camera in supersonic flight
  4. MiG21 will have difficulty in take off in different weathers without pilot control
  5. MiG21 is not fuel efficient like other UAV and hence will have very limited flying time
If the intention is to simply send MiG21 on a one way trip, why not use Nirbhay missile for the same? Nirbhay needs less than a third of the the fuel MiG21 will need to cover same distance. The precision of Nirbhay is also good.
 

Enquirer

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MiG21 does not have enough space for advanced avionics, FBW and other LRU
Once you remove pilot seat and all the displays & other life support stuff, then there's adequate room to put in auto-pilot mechanism and data links!

FBW not required. Automation of controls can be achieved by mechanical control of the 'Controls'. Jaguar is being upgraded with auto-pilot & no FBW!
Think of how Muntra automates a BMP-2!

The control surface of MiG21 is not conducive for automation
Control surfaces will be untouched! No electric actuators are installed. Existing mechanical actuators will continue to exist. Actuation itself will happen by automated mechanical/electrical input from ummanned cockpit area (that receives signals via data link)

People sitting on ground stations will find it hard to see via a camera in supersonic flight
Firstly, it doesn't need to fly supersonic. Mach 0.8 would be plenty of speed!!
Secondly the EO unit can be stabilized for supersonic velocities too. It won't be a simple iPhone camera!
Also, even a manned Mig21 doesn't really scan for targets in supersonic flight - it's normally escaping from a missile on it's ass!

MiG21 will have difficulty in take off in different weathers without pilot control
And hence the auto-pilot/automation/FCS! No one's asking the poor Mig21 to go it all alone!

MiG21 is not fuel efficient like other UAV and hence will have very limited flying time
Why are you always so bent up about fuel price? It's the least of military's concern.
It's not supposed to be a UAV but a UCAV. It's not a competition with Aura/Ghatak, but just a cheap way to force-multiply

If the intention is to simply send MiG21 on a one way trip, why not use Nirbhay missile for the same? Nirbhay needs less than a third of the the fuel MiG21 will need to cover same distance. The precision of Nirbhay is also good.
Worst case one-way trip use will also be more effective as a range of 1500kms for 1000kg explosive can be achieved (Nirbhay cannot carry this much payload!). Also it can go supersonic in the terminal stage to avoid interception.
Best case would be a reusable bomber.
 
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Narasimh

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Several reasons:
  1. MiG21 does not have enough space for advanced avionics, FBW and other LRU.
  2. The control surface of MiG21 is not conducive for automation
  3. People sitting on ground stations will find it hard to see via a camera in supersonic flight
  4. MiG21 will have difficulty in take off in different weathers without pilot control
  5. MiG21 is not fuel efficient like other UAV and hence will have very limited flying time
If the intention is to simply send MiG21 on a one way trip, why not use Nirbhay missile for the same? Nirbhay needs less than a third of the the fuel MiG21 will need to cover same distance. The precision of Nirbhay is also good.
Another thing is IP is with Russia. They have to be onboard.
 

Enquirer

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Another thing is IP is with Russia. They have to be onboard.
Mig21 in India and elsewhere is in the end of life. India doesn't need any more 'service contract' or guarantees from Russia. Russia won't really care what the junk gets turned into.

FYI: BMP-2 is also a Russian design that's been successfully made autonomous by DRDO.
 

Advaidhya Tiwari

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Once you remove pilot seat and all the displays & other life support stuff, then there's adequate room to put in auto-pilot mechanism and data links!

FBW not required. Automation of controls can be achieved by mechanical control of the 'Controls'. Jaguar is being upgraded with auto-pilot & no FBW!
Think of how Muntra automates a BMP-2!
Yes, this is possible.

Control surfaces will be untouched! No electric actuators are installed. Existing mechanical actuators will continue to exist. Actuation itself will happen by automated mechanical/electrical input from ummanned cockpit area (that receives signals via data link)
Without digital control of actuators, the mechanical control may not be enough for maneuvering ability of MiG21 plane. Drones are slow for a reason - they can't stabilise when fast due to difficulty in maneuvering ability and ability to balance in fluctuating winds. If you want MiG21 to fly at high speeds of 800kmph (0.7Mach), then you need digital FBW or a pilot sitting inside.

Firstly, it doesn't need to fly supersonic. Mach 0.8 would be plenty of speed!!
Secondly the EO unit can be stabilized for supersonic velocities too. It won't be a simple iPhone camera!
Also, even a manned Mig21 doesn't really scan for targets in supersonic flight - it's normally escaping from a missile on it's ass!
The high speed is difficult without immediate response from a pilot sitting inside. No matter what, the transmission, reception and retransmission will have some time lag. Telephones have latency of 0.1 second and such latency is to be expected for the drone too. The other parameters like flutter, turbulence etc are hard to understand sitting in a simulator. Sensor integration in a manual aircraft like MiG21 is very difficult.

So, merely stabilised EO is not enough to ride at higher speed. Direct feeling of all the sensors are also needed. In addition as I mentioned above, digital FBW is needed for any high speed flight stabilisation, not just supersonic flight.

Why are you always so bent up about fuel price? It's the least of military's concern.
It's not supposed to be a UAV but a UCAV. It's not a competition with Aura/Ghatak, but just a cheap way to force-multiply
I am not bent on fuel price. I am bent on range and loiter time. Rustom 2 has lot of loiter time and hence can do surveillance in addition to strike. MiG21 will be only strike and that too in limited manner which is not useful. If we know the exact location of the target beforehand, we would rather hit with a missile like Nirbhay in a pin point precision strike. If we don't know the location, we would need the UCAV to first survey the area and then strike. Since MiG21 can't survey due to limited loiter time, it is not useful as UCAV
 

Enquirer

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Without digital control of actuators, the mechanical control may not be enough for maneuvering ability of MiG21 plane. Drones are slow for a reason - they can't stabilise when fast due to difficulty in maneuvering ability and ability to balance in fluctuating winds. If you want MiG21 to fly at high speeds of 800kmph (0.7Mach), then you need digital FBW or a pilot sitting inside.
If a pilot sitting in the cockpit can maneuver, then an auto-pilot can do it better!!!
Turbulence (fluctuating winds?) are best handled by auto-pilot than a pilot. That's why aircraft like Tejas are superior!
Also, a remote operator doesn't need to 'fly' the aircraft every millisecond! He gives input every now and then and the auto-pilot does the rest (much better than a pilot would sitting in the cockpit - hence the upgrade to Jaguar too)
Further, unlike a regular pilot who's is trained to do (& does) extreme maneuvers, a UCAV need not! It just needs to take-off, cruise & land (just like Rustom would, only travelling much faster and with shit load of more payload)

The high speed is difficult without immediate response from a pilot sitting inside. No matter what, the transmission, reception and retransmission will have some time lag. Telephones have latency of 0.1 second and such latency is to be expected for the drone too. The other parameters like flutter, turbulence etc are hard to understand sitting in a simulator. Sensor integration in a manual aircraft like MiG21 is very difficult.
Firstly, no immediate response is needed.
LOS control signals will get to the aircraft in less then 100 micro seconds! Satellite use might increase delay a wee bit but is irrelevant! MQ9, Avenger etc all use satellite communication and are able to control and combat effectively!
Remember, Mig21 may be old but the comm devices and software will be state-of-the-art!

So, merely stabilised EO is not enough to ride at higher speed. Direct feeling of all the sensors are also needed. In addition as I mentioned above, digital FBW is needed for any high speed flight stabilisation, not just supersonic flight.
No direct feeling required! That's the whole idea of 'autonomous' flight!
If Mig21/Jaguars can fly 'stabilized' in high speed realms without FBW, then they'll fly even better with auto-pilot (no FBW needed). FBW will definitely make the implementation much more easy (signals from the operator in digital form can be directly applied to the FBW); without FBW, the signals will be fed to the a computer that will run some mechanical devices in the cockpit!

I am not bent on fuel price. I am bent on range and loiter time. Rustom 2 has lot of loiter time and hence can do surveillance in addition to strike. MiG21 will be only strike and that too in limited manner which is not useful. If we know the exact location of the target beforehand, we would rather hit with a missile like Nirbhay in a pin point precision strike. If we don't know the location, we would need the UCAV to first survey the area and then strike. Since MiG21 can't survey due to limited loiter time, it is not useful as UCAV
As I said earlier the idea is not a replacement/substitute for Rustom/Nirbhay, but to complement the arsenal. It's a DIRT CHEAP way of getting kick-ass combat capability. Even if 20%-30% are lost due to malfunction, it's no big deal!!
 

Prashant12

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Indian Army needs new eyes in the sky


NEW DELHI: India's Ministry of Defence has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for Mini Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (High Altitude) for the Indian Army. A total of 75 units are needed and the Request for Proposal (RFP) is likely to be issued in April 2019.

The UAVs should come with Man Portable Ground Control Station, a Remote Video Terminal, Day and Night sensor packages, and a Two Way Airborne Data Relay to control the UAV beyond the line of sight, among other components. It should also have anti-spoofing and anti-jamming technology. A number of maps which can be updated should also be supported.

The Ministry is also having an interaction with interested vendors at Sena Bhawan, New Delhi on October 31, 2018.

An overview of the Army's requirement was indicated in the Ministry of Defence's ‘Technology Perspective and Capability Roadmap-2018’ issued earlier. The document listed equipment that is envisaged to be inducted into the armed forces up to the late 2020s.

UAVs are major force multipliers in surveillance gathering and combat warfare.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...-new-eyes-in-the-sky/articleshow/65624026.cms
 

Raj Malhotra

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Something like BAE MANTIS.

Then move to Eads Talarion type layout for UCAV powered by HTFE
 

Advaidhya Tiwari

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These require quadcopter type drones which were recently developed by DRDO. The manportable drones imply that the weight must be quite low. So, big drones like Rustom are ruled out
 

Enquirer

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In your opinion what is it that we are lacking? Is it the structure or the payload or both?
The configuration was deemed faulty long back. The twin-engines on the wings is not ideal for long endurance and higher payloads. Worldover ALL successful long endurance UAVs have rear engines (providing lower drag and higher lift).
DRDOs tech demonstrator (Rustom 1) was of similar config; but I can’t for the life of me figure out why some nincompoop scientists at DRDO changed that config for Rustom 2.
The project director for Rustom publicly announced that they need to redesign Rustom 2 with single rear engine. He locked horns with MoD - and they transferred him out!
Alas, physics doesn’t obey bureaucracy or idiocy. Rustom 2 remains sub optimal.
It was clear to one and all the Rustom 2 had to be redesigned, as such the flying versions of Rustom 2 were only meant to test the data links and other avionics.
Every now and then someone in MoD makes a statement that it would be ready in the ‘next 2 years’ - if it does it would be the sub-optimal one which IAF will not order in large numbers
 

proud_indian

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The configuration was deemed faulty long back. The twin-engines on the wings is not ideal for long endurance and higher payloads. Worldover ALL successful long endurance UAVs have rear engines (providing lower drag and higher lift).
DRDOs tech demonstrator (Rustom 1) was of similar config; but I can’t for the life of me figure out why some nincompoop scientists at DRDO changed that config for Rustom 2.
The project director for Rustom publicly announced that they need to redesign Rustom 2 with single rear engine. He locked horns with MoD - and they transferred him out!
Alas, physics doesn’t obey bureaucracy or idiocy. Rustom 2 remains sub optimal.
It was clear to one and all the Rustom 2 had to be redesigned, as such the flying versions of Rustom 2 were only meant to test the data links and other avionics.
Every now and then someone in MoD makes a statement that it would be ready in the ‘next 2 years’ - if it does it would be the sub-optimal one which IAF will not order in large numbers
I think you are talking about AI 2017 lecture by APVS prasad. Yeah, I remember he said we are working on a twin boom pusher configuration but never heard of that development since then. I have asked Saurav Jha, Ananth Krishnan and other jurnos about that but never got any satisfactory answer.
 

Enquirer

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I think you are talking about AI 2017 lecture by APVS prasad. Yeah, I remember he said we are working on a twin boom pusher configuration but never heard of that development since then. I have asked Saurav Jha, Ananth Krishnan and other jurnos about that but never got any satisfactory answer.
Yes. That’s the lecture I am referring to; and Prasad is no longer project director.
During the lecture he made it pretty clear that the twin engined config was only for testing avionics and controls. The final config will be pusher. Somehow no one reads/listens to details - fan boys everywhere continue to fantasize missiles being slung next-to/under the twin engines (not physically possible).
Also (Unfortunately) Saurau Jha is an ultimate jingo. He normally disregards physics principles and hails anything and everything that comes out of Indian stables - irrespective of how malformed they are.
Rustom 2 may still be in for short endurance surveillance.
 

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