UAVs and UCAVs

dineshchaturvedi

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Can these be used against terrorist? The need of the day seems to be low intensity warfare.
 
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http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...or-mini-killer-drones/articleshow/6244959.cms

Spy in the sky: India begins hunt for mini 'killer' drones

NEW DELHI: After launching the hunt for combat drones, the Indian armed forces are now looking to induct micro and mini UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) for snooping missions. Plans are even afoot to induct small UAVs which can perform "a killer role".

The IAF, for instance, has now issued an RFI (request for information) to armament companies for micro UAVs with an "operational endurance in excess of 30 minutes" but weighing less than two kg to ensure they can even be operated by a single person.

IAF wants these micro drones, with fuel or battery operated engines and latest avionics, to be capable of being "hand-launched" or with "vertical take-off and landing" capabilities. As per specifications, they should be equipped with CCD (charged-coupled device) cameras and FLIR (forward-looking infra-red) payloads.

This comes even as the 1.13-million Army is on course to induct slightly bigger mini and micro spy drones in a major way for short-range surveillance and intelligence-gathering missions as well as detection of NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) contaminants in the battlefield.

The force wants some of these man-portable spy drones to be capable of even hitting small but high-value enemy targets with explosives in a Kamikaze fashion. This is in keeping with Army's plan to induct such UAVs in phases right down to the battalion-level by the end of the 12th Plan (2012-2017).

Being stealthy because of their small size, these drones will also be used to equip Army's Para (Special Forces) battalions for covert missions beyond enemy lines, counter-terrorism operations and `beyond-the-hill' surveillance.

This comes soon after IAF issued a global RFI to armament giants worldwide for procurement of combat drones or UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles), with precision weapons and satellite data links, drawing lessons from the deadly use of American `Predators' and `Reapers' against the Taliban in the Af-Pak region, as earlier reported by TOI.

Since the 1999 Kargil conflict, India has inducted over 100 Israeli UAVs and uses them in surveillance and precision-targeting roles. The armed forces also have some "killer" drones like Israeli Harpy UAVs, while more advanced ones like Harop have also being ordered. But UCAVs are a generation ahead since like fighter jets they come back to their bases to re-arm themselves with more missiles for the next mission.


* Drones are major force-multipliers since they can snoop with their sensors and cameras, as also send back real-time imagery to direct precision fire at enemy locations. Some even act as missiles to hit high-value targets

* Drone technology is moving towards combat UAVs (like American Predators and Reapers armed with Hellfire missiles) as well as mini ones

* Mini UAVs can evade enemy radars, are easy to handle and can be launched without runways. Some are so small that they can fit inside the palm of a hand

* Some mini UAVs even have sensors to detect IEDs (improvised explosive devices) and move ahead of a convoy of soldiers on surveillance missions
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Insitu_Awarded_STUAS_Tier_II_Contract_999.html

Insitu Awarded STUAS/Tier II Contract

Insitu Inc. has announced it has been awarded the Small Tactical Unmanned Air System (STUAS)/Tier II contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) for its Integrator unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

In partnership with The Boeing Company, Harris Corporation, Corsair Engineering and Black Ram Engineering Services, Insitu will begin the 24-month engineering, manufacturing and development phase to build and test its Integrator UAS satisfying STUAS/Tier II system requirements.

Under the contract, Integrator will support two operational assessments. The first will determine if an early operational capability option will be exercised leading to the fielding of up to five systems in fiscal 2011.

The second will support low-rate initial production of two systems, one each for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. Initial operating capability is expected in fourth quarter fiscal 2013. Integrator is then expected to move to full-rate production of up to 56 systems.

"I'm looking forward to fielding the capabilities of STUAS to our forward deployed forces," said Capt. JR Brown, PMA-263 Program Manager. "This critical system will greatly increase their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in theater."

Integrator provides battlefield commanders with 24/7, real-time, actionable intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) products via Hood Technologies' electro-optic and infrared sensor package.

High-resolution imagery is transmitted through an encrypted line-of-sight digital data link provided by L-3 Communication Systems-West. Harris Corporation will provide the next generation communications relay payload to support secure ground communications.

"We are extremely honored to be awarded this contract and we look forward to partnering with NAVAIR PMA-263," said Insitu Vice President of Emerging Programs and STUAS/Tier II Program Manager Bill Clark. "Integrator provides unsurpassed growth capability for expanding into new and future missions. With the award of this contract, Integrator will continue the Insitu legacy of supporting our troops in harm's way."

The field-proven Insitu ScanEagle UAS has served the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps since 2004 and will continue supporting U.S. and allied forces as customer needs require.

"ScanEagle has played a vital role in protecting our warfighters by providing them with the ISR products they need," said Director of Unmanned Airborne Systems for Boeing Vic Sweberg.

"We see the STUAS contract as a big step forward as Boeing expands its presence in the UAS market."
 

Aathithya2

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Indian Air Force Wants Micro-UAVs
BY: Army Times Publishing Company

India plans to shop overseas for micro-UAVs that can be hand-launched, take off or land vertically and fly on fuel or battery power.

The end user, the Indian Air Force, is already looking abroad for unmanned combat aerial vehicles with precision weapons and satellite data links.

The mini-UAVs would have advanced avionics and be able to evade radar and launch surprise attacks on ground targets.

India already has some killer drones, such as the Israeli-built Harpy, and has ordered more advanced ones, such as the Harop. These UAVs loiter, detect and then destroy specific enemy targets.

The Indian military depends heavily on UAVs for surveillance. The requirement has become more pronounced for the years ahead, and India plans to buy about 300 additional UAVs, including combat rotary and micro-UAVs, a senior Air Force official said.

http://idrw.org/?p=192
 

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FanWing shows skills as Urban eye in the sky

The FanWing STOL UAV technology demonstrator began flight testing in 2007. The FanWing concept uses a cross-flow fan along the span of each wing. The fan pulls the air in at the front and then expels it over the wing's trailing edge. In transferring the work of the engine to the rotor, which spans the whole wing, the FanWing accelerates a large volume of air and achieves unusually high lift-efficiency.

A STOL surveillance UAV based on the flight demonstrator shown at Farnborough shows unusually short take-off ability, as it leavs the ground after rolling for only one to three meters. The short-take-off capabilities make the application useful for operations originating from a rooftop or short section of road. Such a vehicle could be developed as an urban surveillance UAV, that could fly slowly, manoeuvring through 'urban canyons', taking off and landing on rooftops, without using a catapult for takeoff or parachute for landing. An operational electrically powered FanWing UAV could weigh around 12 kg and carry 2kg of payload.




Source
 

Neil

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Now the Navy gets a 'drone' of its own: Unmanned attack boat to be used against marit

Military chiefs have tested a revolutionary unmanned attack boat to use in the war against maritime terrorists and pirates who threaten British ships.

The new £8million remote-controlled craft – which could have come straight from the pages of a James Bond novel – is being considered by officers in the Special Boat Service, the maritime equivalent of the SAS.

The 35ft-long Israeli-built 'Silver Marlin' can be used for electronic warfare and mine clearance. Coated in bullet-resistant Kevlar and equipped with radar, it has a 7.62mm calibre weapon system with laser aiming, range finder and target illuminator and can carry missiles.

With a maximum speed of 45 knots, the drone can operate for 24 hours over a distance of 500 miles. It carries a TV camera to send back images of its missions and has sensors to detect small boats or obstructions up to four miles away.

SBS officers and civil servants recently trialled the Silver Marlin with American special forces Seals in the Middle East.

A senior Special Forces source said: 'These vessels have huge potential and can be exposed to a higher risk than operations involving troops. They could clearly be used ahead of an amphibious assault, steered by controllers through minefields to identify an approach to land while providing real time pictures for commanders.'

An MoD spokeswoman said: 'There are no current plans to assess or procure Unmanned Surface Vehicles. However the MoD continues to explore a range of options to meet our future capability requirements.'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...aritime-terrorists-pirates.html#ixzz0s717rv2y
 

Patriot

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ScanEagle makes move on NATO AWACS, V-22
By Stephen Trimble

Unmanned aircraft could soon be controlled by Boeing E-3A airborne warning and control system (AWACS) jets operated on counter-piracy missions by NATO.

Boeing is also holding internal discussions on integrating a control station for the low-altitude Boeing/Insitu ScanEagle unmanned aircraft system on the Bell Boeing V-22.

Both details emerged at a Boeing briefing on 10 August about the ScanEagle's involvement in an ongoing coalition exercise called Empire Challenge.

The Fort Huachucha, Arizona-based event drew a NATO E-3A AWACS crew to demonstrate how the battle management aircraft could use a ScanEagle to intercept suspected pirate vessels, says John Hearing, senior manager for next generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft at Boeing PhantomWorks.



Boeing installed a control station for the ScanEagle aboard the E-3A, allowing a company employee on board the AWACS jet to control the UAS in flight.

A pick-up truck was used during the event to simulate a pirate vessel. The pirate surrogate identified itself as a fishing boat on its automatic identification system transponder, which was picked up by the E-3A's receivers.

The E-3A radar's, however, noted the "vessel" was travelling at a speed of 21.5kt (40km/h) - too fast for a normal fishing boat. At that point, the AWACS crew assigned the ScanEagle to investigate. The small UAS beamed video of the vessel back to the E-3A, confirming the vessel was not a fishing boat.

As a result, Hearing said, the E-3A dispatched a Lockheed Martin F-16 to the area to confirm the target and launch an attack.

After completing four of six demonstration flights up to 10 August, Boeing and the NATO AWACS crew had already gathered the information they needed. Now, says Hearing, NATO must decide whether it should make the investment.

"We do know they are evaluating," says Kevin Jones, a Boeing manager for AWACS and network battle management. "They are very aware of the various UAV product lines not only that we have but others have. We're waiting for them to come back to us. We know there's interest. We expect we'll participate in some of that discussion."

The company also believes the ScanEagle or the ScanEagle Compressed Carriage will "fit very nicely in the V-22", Jones says, adding there are "some discussions with customers" about the concept.




http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/08/11/346018/scaneagle-makes-move-on-nato-awacs-v-22.html
 

Patriot

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Darpa To Demonstrate Unmanned CAS

Aug 11, 2010

By Graham Warwick
Washington


Unmanned aircraft responding to calls for fire support from ground controllers, who directly command their sensors and weapons, could become reality if a Pentagon demonstration of advanced close air support technology is successful.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Precision Close Air Support (PCAS) program aims to develop a kit that enables joint tactical air controllers to take command of sensors and weapons on manned and unmanned aircraft to increase the speed and accuracy of fire support for ground forces.

With a wearable display, the controller would be able to use the aircraft's sensors to improve situational awareness; visualize the effects before launching a weapon from the aircraft to assess likely damage; and monitor the weapon's fly-out and send target updates via data link if needed.

Compared with the voice communications now used, a direct digital link between controller and aircraft is expected to reduce response time to within 6 min. from 30-60 min. to get a bomb on target from an aircraft orbiting within 30 nm. The "machine-to-machine" link is also expected to reduce errors.



Darpa plans a live-fire demonstration of PCAS at the end of Fiscal 2014 using a Fairchild A-10 modified for optionally manned operation. The A-10 will be equipped with dual Litening targeting pods to demonstrate that one aircraft could attack multiple targets, or service multiple controllers, simultaneously.

The A-10's 30-mm. gun, laser-guided 2.75-in. rockets, GPS-guided 250-lb. bombs and AGM-56E Maverick laser-guided missiles will be used for the live-fire demonstration, as they have different targeting errors and blast effects that must be modeled and presented to the ground controller on a head-up display.

Although PCAS would increase the speed and accuracy of manned close air support, the program's intent is to unlock the potential for unmanned aircraft to provide persistent CAS. The U.S. Air Force sees close air support as one of the missions for its proposed MQ-X next-generation unmanned aircraft.

Planned to be fielded around 2020, the MQ-X would have a high-subsonic speed equivalent to manned aircraft but an endurance of 12-18 hr., compared with 6 hr. for the A-10, while carrying a larger payload of weapons than the MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper.

Proposals for PCAS are due by the end of September, with award of one or two contracts for preliminary design, and up to six for enabling technology development, by the end of November. After the 18-month first phase, plans call for one team to be selected to proceed with the demonstration.

Photo: USAF





http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2010/08/09/AW_08_09_2010_p31-245695.xml&headline=Darpa%20To%20Demonstrate%20Unmanned%20CAS&channel=defense
 

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Unmanned Aircraft System Completes Wing Load Tests
by Staff Writers
Monrovia CA (SPX) Aug 12, 2010


AeroVironment, Inc. (AV) announced that a full size wing developed as part of the Global Observer Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program has successfully completed a series of Wing Load Tests (WLT) in support of the Global Observer flight test program.

The joint Department of Defense, NASA and AV team successfully performed the tests at the Flight Loads Laboratory located at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.

The team designed and built a specialized test fixture to apply loads to the modular, all-composite 175-foot Global Observer wing. The test validates the quality of AV's design, its analysis of flexible and lightweight structures and the resulting design tradeoffs made to maximize wing strength while minimizing weight - a critical balance in achieving reliable flight endurance.

Global Observer is designed to be the first unmanned aircraft system (UAS) to provide robust, cost-effective and persistent communications and surveillance over any location, without latitude restrictions. The Global Observer JCTD program is sponsored by six U.S. government agencies that have provided more than $120 million in funding.

"These successful tests confirm that the Global Observer wing, one of the most critical elements of the system, is prepared to handle the stress of high altitude, long endurance flight," said Tim Conver, AV's chairman and chief executive officer.

"With ground and wing load testing behind us we look forward to demonstrating Global Observer's unique ability to fly longer and higher over any location than any other aircraft. That ability can translate into more valuable reconnaissance and communications at a lower cost to military and non-military customers."



Wing loading refers to the dynamic stress that aircraft wings experience as a result of normal flight, turbulent air and aircraft maneuvers. The primary purpose of the WLT is to demonstrate the integrity of the Global Observer wing structure and acquire data that allow for validation of the design and comparison to actual flight test data.

The structural integrity of the wing was tested by applying loads to the wing that approximate the maximum loads Global Observer is designed to withstand. Four simulated test sorties were performed on the wing with loads being applied in both positive (pulling up) and negative (pushing down) directions. The wing successfully passed all tests.

Each aircraft in a Global Observer system is designed to fly at an altitude of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet for five to seven days. In addition to flying above weather and above other conventional airplanes, operation in this altitude range means that communications relay payloads on the aircraft could potentially be able to service a circular area on the surface of the earth up to 600 miles in diameter, equivalent to more than 280,000 square miles of coverage.

Two Global Observer aircraft would alternate operation over any location on the globe every five to seven days to provide seamless coverage, making this the first solution to provide customers with practical, affordable coverage, wherever and whenever required.

Communications relay and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) payloads are being prepared for installation into the aircraft. Once development flight tests have been completed, payloads will be installed and joint operational utility flight demonstrations will be performed at EAFB.

Global Observer is designed to address an urgent national security need for a persistent stratospheric platform and to offer a means to satisfy numerous high value civil and commercial applications.

The system is intended to provide mission capabilities that include robust observation over areas with little or no existing coverage, persistent communications relay, the ability to relocate the system as required by theater commanders, dedicated communications support to other UAS and tactical on-station weather monitoring and data support.




http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Unmanned_Aircraft_System_Completes_Wing_Load_Tests_999.html
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Australia_does_deal_for_RQ-7B_Shadow_UAVs_999.html

Australia does deal for RQ-7B Shadow UAVs

The Australian government will buy 18 RQ-7B Shadow 200 unmanned aerial vehicles and support systems at a cost of $175 million.

The UAV deal is part of a larger $1.1 billion plan to improve protection for Australia's troops, or diggers, in Afghanistan.

The 11-foot-long vehicle, with a wingspan of 14 feet, is powered by a Wankel 38 hp engine with an 8-hour endurance and a range of around 65 miles. Maximum speed is around 135 mph. It is launched from a trailer-mounted pneumatic catapult system and is retrieved upon return to base using an arrester wire.

The unarmed vehicle's suite of sensors includes high-resolution video and still cameras, ultra-violet sensors and laser direction finders. When used for battlefield surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition, it can feed back live footage to troops to help them decide tactics.

The deal includes two support systems, ground vehicles, training packages and maintenance support.

Australian Defense Minister John Faulkner said the Shadow 200 system would provide the army with a proven tactically mobile UAV system. He also said that the two Scan Eagle UAVs, operated under license from the manufacturers Insitu and Boeing, will remain in service until the Shadow 200 vehicles were delivered, but no date was given.

The announcement ends speculation over Australia's purchase and also that it was a done-deal at the Farnborough Air Show in England last month.

The U.S. government's Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress in May of a possible foreign military sale to Australia of two Shadow 200s and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for around $218 million.

A number of options were on the table alongside the U.S. government proposal, including a Thales bid to lease Israeli-made Hermes 450s to Australia.

The Elbit Systems Hermes 450 is a medium-sized, multi-payload UAV for tactical long-endurance missions. The 20-foot-long vehicle, with a wingspan of 34 feet, is powered by a Wankel 52 hp engine and can fly for more than 20 hours.

Hermes 450s are operated by the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Test and Evaluation Program at the Naval Air Station Fallon. Several Hermes 450s were tested by the U.S. Border Patrol in 2004.

The U.S Army, Navy and Marines were operating more than 115 Shadows at the beginning of this year.

Last month AAI announced that Italy's Directorate of General Aeronautical Armament within the defense ministry had bought four Shadow 200s for the army in a $64 million deal. The vehicles will be used in NATO operations.

AAI Corporation, founded in 1950, along with its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde and ESL Defense, has been a part of Textron, Inc. since 2007.
 

EagleOne

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India's combined might in designing, developing, integrating and test flying micro air vehicles was put on display near Hostoke lakebed outside Bengaluru Aug. 20, when five MAVs from government and industry were test flown.
Top scientists, engineers, designers and specialists from the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), Aeronautical Development Agency (ADE), private aerospace industries and academic institutions shared their expertise during the event. They were brought together under one umbrella by the National Design and Research Forum (NDRF), which is overseeing India's Rs 100 crore ($21.5 million) joint National Program for MAVs (NP-MICAV).
The three government MAVs were the 12-in. span Black Kite designed by Roshan and Suraj and developed by NAL's Propulsion Division; the 16-in. Golden Hawk, designed by Shashank and developed by NAL's Experimental Aerodynamics Division EAD; and the 12-in. Pushpak, designed by Hemant and developed by NAL's EAD. Live video was streamed to the base station during some flights


Tarmak007 -- An Indian Defence Blog With A Difference: Sky Test: MAVs from NAL, ADE and private industries show their might at Hoskote lakebed near Bangalore
 
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Maverick007

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When would we be inducting UCAVs like the Reaper etc. I am sure that we can further develop one of the Israeli UAVs to become UCAVs
 

Kunal Biswas

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Lockheed Martin: New UAV concept on display


A diagram on the exhibit booth yesterday identifies the aircraft by the acronym "MPLE", but does not elaborate. The photo shows the aircraft flying at what appears to be medium altitude over a desert landscape. The turreted sensor appears to be hanging from beneath the nose. The high-aspect ratio wings are bent upwards at the tips for a dihedral angle.
The DEW Line


Its more like Rustam MALE with two propellers but have better efficiency..


Rustam MALE uav
 

Kunal Biswas

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When would we be inducting UCAVs like the Reaper etc. I am sure that we can further develop one of the Israeli UAVs to become UCAVs
IA require UACV like reaper, flying a attack helo over Kashmir could cause Human Rights concerns also it is expensive to fly a helo compare to UAV, A reaper like UCAV cause less attention yet it does it job nicely, Now days their is technology where we can update our present UAV like Nishant or Searcher 1&2 into UCAV,:

Air Dropped Mortar Successfully Demonstrated from Tactical UAV



General Dynamics Demonstrates Precision Strike Capability for Tactical UAVs with 81mm Air-Dropped Guided Mortar

BOTHELL, Wash. – General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems has successfully guided an 81mm Air-Dropped Guided Mortar (ADM) to a stationary ground target. The guide-to-target flight demonstrations, conducted at Ft. Sill, Okla., confirmed the ability of the 81mm ADM using a novel guidance kit and fuze to provide a precision strike capability for Tactical-Class Unmanned Aircraft (TUAV). The ADM was released from a TUAV using the company's newly developed "Smart Rack" carriage and release system that enables weaponization of any TUAV platform.

Application of RCFC technology to the 81mm air-dropped guided mortar has been developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army's Armament Research Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) in Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. ARDEC developed and successfully tested environmental sensors for the guidance kit's fuzing system. The results from the Ft. Sill flight tests built on previously successful 81mm air-dropped guided mortar guide-to-target flight demonstrations by General Dynamics and ARDEC in Kingman, Ariz., in December 2008.


RQ-7 Shadow as a tactical UAV platform (photo : Defense Industry Daily)

Designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps and Special Forces for a rapid target response capability, the ADM uses existing mortar inventory to provide a low-cost, lightweight weapon system with proven energetics. The company's patented Roll Controlled Fixed Canard (RCFC) guidance kit, with an innovative flight-control and GPS-based guidance and navigational system, adds precision strike capability to existing mortars. The nose-mounted guidance kit replaces existing mortar fuzes and has been successfully demonstrated on multiple mortar calibers in both air-drop and tube-launch applications and provides a common, multi-platform Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) and integrated weapon system for unmanned aircraft.

The tube-launched application is a low-cost guidance approach that has been successfully demonstrated at Yuma Proving Grounds in a tactical 120mm guided mortar configuration known as the Roll Controlled Guided Mortar (RCGM). The tube launched 120mm RCGM uses the existing warhead and the M934A1 fuze.
A motar shell is way cheap than a Laser Guided PGM, We just need the Kit to update normal motar shells into PGM..
 
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US issues arms deal ultimatum to Turkey

Published: August 15 2010 23:05 | Last updated: August 15 2010 23:05 President Barack Obama has personally warned Turkey's prime minister that unless Ankara shifts its position on Israel and Iran it stands little chance of obtaining the US weapons it wants to buy. Mr Obama's warning to Recep Tayyip Erdogan is particularly significant as Ankara wants to buy American drone aircraft – such as the missile-bearing Reaper – to attack the Kurdish separatist PKK after the US military pulls out of Iraq at the end of 2011.
 

sandeepdg

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I can't understand why are still lagging behind in the area of UCAVs !! When we can design an aircraft, then why not a decent UCAV ? I think the Rustom should be speeded up and converted into a UCAV though its range is pathetic !
 

Agantrope

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I can't understand why are still lagging behind in the area of UCAVs !! When we can design an aircraft, then why not a decent UCAV ? I think the Rustom should be speeded up and converted into a UCAV though its range is pathetic !
We dont need deep penetration strikes in the commie land as of now with the UCAV, Rustom is more than enough
 

nrj

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I can't understand why are still lagging behind in the area of UCAVs !! When we can design an aircraft, then why not a decent UCAV ? I think the Rustom should be speeded up and converted into a UCAV though its range is pathetic !
I agree on range factor of Rustom. But afterall its a MALE UAV. In future (?) long range UAVs should come up for at least intelligence gathering purpose.
 

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