UAVs and UCAVs

ClawReed787

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Defence against Swarm Drones
November 7, 2020 By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd) Photo(s): By C.A.E.I.T, Delft Dynamics, US Marine Corps, SkyDroner.com, Droneless, Topwar.ru
The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army


CHINA’S TRUCK-MOUNTED DISPENSER FOR SWARM DRONES​
The Islamic State used multiple drones on many occasions against the US and Iraqi forces engaged in retaking territory seized by them in Iraq. On January 5, 2018, 13 x GPS guided drones launched more than 50 km away attacked the Russian Air and Naval Bases at Khemmiem and Tartus in West Syria respectively. On September 14, 2019, Yemen-based Houthi rebels used a swarm of about ten drones to attack Saudi Arabia’s ‘Aramco’ oil processing facilities at Abqarq and Khurais with devastating effect. The latest use of swarm drones has been witnessed in the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict. The just released video by Azerbaijan of its swarm drones strike on Armenian positions shows massive carnage inflicted. This indicates the profound transformation in warfare swarm drones are going to effect.
So far only small quantity of drones has been used in swarms but countries like China have been experimenting swarms consisting of more than 1000 drones. In December 2017, China flew a swarm of 1,108 drones at the Global Fortune Forum in Guangzhou. This was followed by a pre-recorded display of 1,218 quad-copter drones swarm during the ‘Pyeongchang Winter Olympics’. Low-cost drones using artificial intelligence and high-end technology can coordinate operations far better than same number of soldiers.
China recently tested swarm drones launched from a vehicle similar to the Dongfeng Humvee and a helicopter. The drones are launched with compressed air, then unfold their wings and fly to the target area with an electric-powered propeller. The kamikaze drones carry high-explosive warheads, potentially powerful enough to destroy tanks and other armour. China already has tactical loitering munitions like the 20-pound CH-901, which cruises over the target area beaming back video for the operator to locate a target, then diving in to destroy it on command.

(LEFT TO RIGHT): BHARAT DRONE, DRONE CATCHER AND SKYWALL 100​
A large swarm ensures greater survivability and need not consist of the same type and size of drones. It could incorporate both large and small drones equipped with different payloads and roles providing greater flexibility. We may witness how swarm drones are revolutionising the dynamics of conflict should China force limited war on us. India so far has relied on imported drones for the military and the basic surveillance drone ‘Bharat’ has recently been provided to troops involved in the standoff with China in Eastern Ladakh.
The basic idea for indigenously producing swarm drones in India came from the Bengaluru-based startup NewSpace Research and Technologies in 2017 following which Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) began developing the Combat Air Teaming System (CATS) in conjunction NewSpace Research and Technologies. Half in size of a fighter aircraft, CATS is a drone armed with stealth and artificial intelligence (AI) designed to fly nearly a 100 km ahead of conventional fighters to engage enemy. One Sukhoi Su-30 can carry 30 to 40 of these kamikaze-type drones. Three types of drones are being developed including a glide bomb and an air-launched swarm drone system named ‘Alpha-S’ - a metre-long drone carrying 1.5 tonnes of explosives, designed to be air-launched from fighter aircraft. The drones fly in formation at speeds of 100 kmp/h scouting targets of opportunity including missile sites to attack them. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has done preliminary testing of CATS in Pokhran but its fielding may take another two years or so. On the internal security front, drones swarms equipped with chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) detectors, facial recognition, anti-drone weapons and other capabilities offer defences against a range of threats.
Advances in counter drone technologies are ongoing globally. Counter drone equipment already available include: DroneGun - jams the link between drone and drone pilot up to one km;DroneCatcher - net gun armed multicopter that uses onboard sensors and catches it by shooting a net; SkyWall 100 - automated net launching system that uses compressed air to launch a projectile up to the drone after target is identified. One SkyWall100 system can protect an area or multiple systems can be deployed from mobile units to protect a large site; SkyDroner - detects, distracts and disables drone up to one km by taking over the command and control frequencies and disable communication links, and; Sky Fence - incorporates multiple signal disruptors, designed to jam the flight control signal of a drone to prevent overflying installation and disrupt their navigation transmissions.

(LEFT TO RIGHT): SKYDRONER, SKYFENCE AND LW-30​
China introduced a laser-based system in November 2014 to target and destroy small drones or other aircraft within a 1.9 km range flying up to altitude of 500m with a speed of up to 180 km/h. In 2018, China unveiled its LW-30 combat system capable of incapacitating not only drones, but also small manned aircraft. The LW-30 uses a high-energy laser beam to destroy targets ranging from drones and guided bombs to mortar shells. It features high efficiency, rapid response, a good hit rate and flexibility. The LW-30 combat unit comprises one radar-equipped vehicle for communications and control on the battlefield and at least one laser gun-carrying vehicle and one logistical support vehicle. Simultaneously China displayed its 'Silent Hunter' drone at the KADEX 2018 in Kazakhstan capable of intercepting low-altitude, slow-speed aerial targets including drones; tactical laser weapon that could also be used by air defence forces whether on stationary or moving vehicles or naval vessels.
Once hostile drones are identified, they can be targeted by conventional weaponry and drones in counter drone mode but the threat more is just few drones. Terrorists supported by China-Pakistan could also resort to swarm drone attacks. Chinese media reported in September 2019 that China has developed a counter drone system consisting of multiple weapons and equipment including land based rockets and drone-hunting drones that can shoot huge webs and vehicle based detection devices, in addition to rifle-shaped counter-drone devices that shoot jamming signals to disrupt drones, bringing about either a forced landing or divert them.
In a recent exercise of PLA’s 73rd Army Group maneuvers involved the FN-6 portable anti-aircraft systems, compact anti-drone electronic guns, and twin towed 35mm Type 90 automatic cannons destroying a swarm of drones. In tactical operations, 9K331 Tor-M1 missile systems produced by the Izhevsk Electromechanical Plant Kupol fired at the simulated enemy. Defence against swarm drones, both by the military and other security agencies therefore requires much focus. We need to examine the threat of drone swarms de-novo and look at integrated defence against them incorporating ground, air, sea and space-based weapon systems.
 

WolfPack86

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China has become a major exporter of armed drones, Pakistan is among its 11 customers
New Delhi: From being one of the biggest importers, China is fast becoming a leading global arms supplier, with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) leading its foray into multiple countries, including Pakistan.


China is also exporting a whole bunch of assault rifles, ammunition, fighter planes and even submarines.


A new research paper on Chinese drone exports — written by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Texas A&M University, with excerpts published by Foreign Affairs — reveals that 18 countries obtained armed drones from 2011 to 2019. Eleven of these countries bought the drones from China, the paper states.


Prior to 2011, just three countries had armed drones — the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel.


“The rapid rise in drone deployment has coincided with China’s emergence as a major supplier,” the research paper says. “From 2011 to 2019, 11 of those 18 countries we tracked bought armed drones from China.”

It adds that at least as early as 2011, China started negotiating with countries such as the UAE and Pakistan to sell them armed UAVs.


“Since then, China has dominated the export market for armed UAVs. Of the 18 countries that have acquired armed drones since 2010 (not including China), 11 have bought from China,” it says, adding that the countries include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Uzbekistan, among others.

The United States, the paper adds, just supplied drones to France during this period, while it is in negotiations with India to sell armed predator drones.


A significant aspect of the research paper is that it comes to the conclusion that non-democracies were over four times more likely to pursue armed drones than democracies after China entered the armed drone export market.

China not a signatory to MTCR

What helps China in export of armed drones is that, unlike the US, it is not a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) that came into being in 1987, during the Cold War, to prevent the spread of missiles that could carry weapons of mass destruction.


According to the MTCR, the US and other signatories cannot export Category I systems — those that can travel more than 300 km and carry a payload of more than 500 kg.


A March 2020 report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a Sweden-based organisation that offers data and analysis on arms trade, stated that even though China claims it follows the MTCR, Beijing imposes relatively fewer restrictions on how buyers use the weapons they import — even if doing so violates international law and human rights.

China firms among top 10 arms exporters

Drones, however, aren’t the only weapons that the Chinese are exporting.


Another report by SIPRI suggests that three of the world’s top 10 arms companies are Chinese.


“We can with confidence say that China is the second-largest arms producer in the world, behind the US and ahead of Russia,” Nan Tian, co-author of the report, was quoted as saying by the Japan Times.


According to the first SIPRI report, China emerged as the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter in 2015–19 and accounted for 5.5 per cent of total arms exports.


The report adds that the number of countries to which China delivers arms has also grown significantly: From 40 in 2010–14 to 53 in 2015–19. Pakistan was the main recipient (35 per cent) in 2015–19, as it has been for all five-year periods since 1991, it states.

China exports arms into Indian neighbourhood

According to intelligence inputs, Pakistan is getting at least four latest versions of Chinese armed drones for protection of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).


Besides this, China is also supplying Pakistan with eight new conventional (diesel) submarines. The two countries jointly manufacture the JF-17 fighter planes and Pakistan receives Chinese assault rifles.


When it comes to India’s neighbourhood, China supplies weapons to all countries, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar.


According to the US-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies, most of Beijing’s arms exports are sold to countries closer to home.


“Despite low levels of arms exports throughout the mid-1990s and into the mid-2000s, most of what China did export (82.8 per cent) were shipped to countries across Asia,” it said.


“This trend has continued as China has emerged as a leader in the global arms trade,” it added. “A combined 61.3 per cent of China’s conventional weapons sales since 2008 have found their way to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. Other Asian countries have purchased an additional 14 per cent of Chinese arms.”

Chinese arms supplies a concern for India

Former Army chief General V.P. Malik (Retd) said the arms supplied by China to Pakistan were a concern. He added that, during the Kargil battle of 1999, there were reports that small flying objects were seen near the Line of Control (LoC).


“At that time, drones were not something that we had in mind and hence we could not say for sure what they were,” he said.


Former Navy chief Admiral Prakash (Retd) echoed Gen Malik’s views. “The biggest customers of Chinese arms are in India’s neighbourhood,” Admiral Prakash said. “This includes Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. And then beyond the immediate neighbourhood but still significant.”


He explained that the reason why India cannot get out of Russian influence is that “we, as a country, are beholden to them since 60-70 per cent of military equipment is from that country”.

“When you supply arms to a country, you are buying yourself a lot of influence there too and not just selling equipment,” he said, adding that some of the markets in India’s immediate neighbourhood are those where “we should have had a play and hence the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) must question itself”.


Former director general (artillery) Lt Gen P. Ravi Shankar (Retd), an officer who has been part of the induction of every drone in the Army since 2000, said the fact that China is exporting armed drones should be a concern to India because the country does not have one.


“What China is exporting is basic armed drones but I believe they have the capability and the technology for bigger armed drones that they themselves use,” said the officer, who is now associated with the IIT-Madras’ drone UAV programme.
 

SavageKing456

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N4tsula67

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Do they actually have working prototype or its all just on drawing board🤔.
System Description:

2 Aerial Vehicles
Payload Suite
Gimballed Electro-optic/Infrared (EO/IR) camera
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Electronic Warfare Support Measures (ESM)
1 Ground Control Station
1 Ground Data Terminal
2 Remote Video Terminals

Key Specifications:

Max take-off weight – 700 kg
Wingspan – 15 m
Max. payload – 140 kg
Max. endurance – 11 hours
Maximum speed – 60 m/s (115 knots)
Service ceiling – 7.6 km (25,000 feet)

This looks promising tho. Maybe IA may get interested later on.
 

SavageKing456

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Do they actually have working prototype or its all just on drawing board🤔.
System Description:

2 Aerial Vehicles
Payload Suite
Gimballed Electro-optic/Infrared (EO/IR) camera
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Electronic Warfare Support Measures (ESM)
1 Ground Control Station
1 Ground Data Terminal
2 Remote Video Terminals

Key Specifications:

Max take-off weight – 700 kg
Wingspan – 15 m
Max. payload – 140 kg
Max. endurance – 11 hours
Maximum speed – 60 m/s (115 knots)
Service ceiling – 7.6 km (25,000 feet)

This looks promising tho. Maybe IA may get interested later on.
Don't know,they proposed offer just few months back,its still in early stages.
 

SavageKing456

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Apr 14, 2020
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Do they actually have working prototype or its all just on drawing board🤔.
System Description:

2 Aerial Vehicles
Payload Suite
Gimballed Electro-optic/Infrared (EO/IR) camera
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Electronic Warfare Support Measures (ESM)
1 Ground Control Station
1 Ground Data Terminal
2 Remote Video Terminals

Key Specifications:

Max take-off weight – 700 kg
Wingspan – 15 m
Max. payload – 140 kg
Max. endurance – 11 hours
Maximum speed – 60 m/s (115 knots)
Service ceiling – 7.6 km (25,000 feet)

This looks promising tho. Maybe IA may get interested later on.
L&T always delivers in time,you won't be disappointed from them,however maybe you'll get pissed when army imports UAVs.
 

FalconSlayers

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Tata UAV system with VTOL capabilities....😊
A Bigger one in future should be made for Combat purposes, we should focus on UCAVs so that they can be used as a surveillance drone and armed drone at the same time. Thats why multirole aircrafts were made to carry out multiple operations in a single sortie.
 

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