UAVs and UCAVs

Agantrope

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Predator's existence in pak''s arsenal itself is a big deal and is far superior to any drones India has. So it has to play a catch up game now.
US marines operates the Predator from Pak and not the Pak operating it. Get your stats rite before posting
 

Rage

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Predator's existence in pak''s arsenal itself is a big deal and is far superior to any drones India has. So it has to play a catch up game now.
You're on drugs dude. Pak's "arsenal" does not have the Predator, nor would the U.S. ever part with it.
 

nandu

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Indra Develops Unmanned Helicopter for Naval Missions

Indra, with the support of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism along with the Ministry of Defence, started up an R&D project to develop an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) of rotary wings and with dual use, either for civil or defence fields. The system will be launched in 2012 and will be one of the first worldwide to meet mission needs of any naval force.

The system can run for 24 hours a day for a month. It was initially conceived for surveillance, maritime traffic control, border control and support of rescue missions. However, once regulations allow manned and unmanned aircraft to coexist in air space, the Pelicano system will give support in emergency situations or will watch infrastructures, among other applications.

Regarding its potential uses for naval ships, its accurate and automatic vertical takeoff and landing capacity (AVTOL) and its medium size (3.3 meter rotor diameter and around 200 kg maximum take-off weight) make it the perfect solution for ships. It can also adapt to meet the needs of the Army and Security Corps.

The system consists of three or four helicopters and a fully interoperable control station which will receive the information collected in the air in real time. The solution is based on a tactical helicopter with a 100 km operational range and capable of flying at 3,600 meters high. For its development, Indra signed an agreement with the Swedish company Cybaero and will use the APID60 platform which is currently in use.

Based on the platform, Indra will build a complex mission system. The system will incorporate night-vision infrared electro-optical sensors, capable of capturing high-resolution images at great heights. The company will also supply a thorough terrain segment which will control the helicopter and will receive images in real time and a secure communication link with a suitable bandwidth.

Pelicano can be integrated with the vessels command system, becoming an extension of the embarked radars and sensors.

The mission system includes an IFF transponder, an identification component, and is also prepared to carry a light-weight radar, electronic intelligence systems and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threat detection sensors.

Leaders in UAV

The increasing needs of remote sensing functions during sustained operations, has boosted the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as the ideal platforms. Indra’s experience and knowledge in the electro-optical systems and radars contribute to Research and Development in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs) sector.

Indra has successfully led, along with EADS, the startup of the first tactical UAV system which the Spanish Army has used in a real scenario: PASI (Intelligence Autonomous Sensorised Platform) based on the Searcher Mk III UAV. The company has also developed a tactical system called Albhatros based on fixed-wing aircrafts and the Mantis mini UAVs.

Within the Atlante programme led by EADS for the development of a tactical long-range UAV, the company is in charge of the communications systems, electro-optical sensors, identification (IFF) and the image exploitation software.

In addition, Indra is engaged along with EADS and Thales in the design of the AURA radar which will be employed by strategic UAVs and in the development of the HORUS radar which will be embarked on helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Besides this, the Spanish company participates in the MIDCAS European project, which seeks to develop a Sense & Avoid system for UAVs to detect and avoid other aircraft in civil air space automatically. Finally in 2010 Indra was awarded a contract with the European Space Agency and in cooperation with the European Defence Agency to study the possibility of UAVs to coexist with civil aircraft in air space by using satellite communications systems.

Indra is the premier Information Technology company in Spain and a leading IT multinational in Europe and Latin America. It is ranked as the second European company in its sector according to stock market capitalisation, and also the second Spanish company with the most investment in R&D. In 2009, revenues reached € 2,513 M, of which a third came from the international market. The company employs more than 29,000 professionals and has clients in more than 100 countries.

http://www.defencetalk.com/indra-develops-unmanned-helicopter-for-naval-missions-25338/
 

RPK

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Ludhiana businessman designs 'half scale' UAV

http://www.dailyindia.com/show/367647.php


Ludhiana, Mar. 31 : A Ludhiana-based businessman who started off with aero modelling as a hobby has designed a 'half scale' unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).


UAV is a light aerial vehicle used by the air force for border surveillance and light combat. Since it is an unmanned vehicle the Air Force uses it to navigate sensitive areas without loss of human life.

"After completing my college studies, I joined my family business, which is a company engaged in manufacturing bicycle parts known by the bhogal brand," Manjeev Bhogal, owner of Bhogal Hobby Tech, said.

"After joining the business, defence forces approached for aero modelling training because they were aware of my hobby because of NCC Air Wing. When they approached us we started giving training army personnel and officers as hobby flyers," he added.

Currently, the IAF trains its pilots with UAVs imported from Israel.

Manjeev Bhogal's company is now eyeing an order which will enable it to manufacture 'half- scale'UAVs at half the import price of 800,000 rupees.

For five years, Bhogal hobby tech has been manufacturing small training aero models for the UAV squadrons of the IAF, Indian Army and the Indian Navy training.

The company has supplied about 24 aero models and flight simulators to the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to train their cadets for microlite flying.
 

RPK

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India orders Israeli armed UAVs - in case US drones reach Pakistan

http://www.debka.com/article/8688/


Sources close to the Indian defense ministry in New Delhi disclosed Wednesday, March 31, that a military purchasing mission was in Israel recently to expedite the purchase of a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) armed with missiles, for deployment on its front lines against Pakistan.
Indian sources did not disclose the size of the order placed with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) - running to hundreds of millions of dollars - but they made no secret of their intention to build up their fleet of reconnaissance and killer drones for a possible duel against US-armed Predators in the hands of Pakistani forces.
Islamabad is pushing Washington hard for strategic Predator drones, like those the US employs against al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in Pakistan's tribal districts on the Afghan border.
From Israel, New Delhi has commissioned a few more drones of the Heron MALE (medium-altitude, long-endurance) type, as well as Searcher-II and Harpy `killer' drones designed to detect and destroy enemy radars by functioning like cruise missiles.

Our military sources report that their reconnaissance and targeting features are sought by India for its response should the Americans decide to let Pakistan have drones capable of firing AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. New Delhi made its order urgent after learning that Washington may deliver drones to Islamabad much sooner than Indian intelligence had foreseen.

Together with the drones, India also ordered from Israel advanced ground control systems and data terminals for their operation.

The visiting Indian delegation also discussed the possible introduction of Israeli Harop `killer' UAVs to the Indian Air Force from 2011. These drones can loiter six hours over targets on ground, sea or dense urban areas and strike them from different angles. The visitors checked on the progress of the DRDO unmanned gunship helicopter, a joint Indian-Israeli project on commission for both their air forces, which is under construction at an Israeli aerospace industry plant. India is going half-and-half with Israel in the costs of developing and production of the innovative helicopter.
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Turkey_gets_Heron_drones_999.html

Turkey gets Heron drones


After a long and acrimonious dispute, Turkey
has taken delivery of six Heron drone aircraft from Israel, expecting an additional four by the end of April.

The delayed delivery followed a fence-mending trip to Turkey that Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak took to in January in a bid to ease the fallout of a diplomatic tiff spanning from the late order and Ankara's criticism of Israeli policies toward the Palestinians.

Turkey awarded the lucrative contract five years ago, placing the order with Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit. Both companies beat major U.S. competitors but the contract was bogged from the start with delays stemming from technical problems.

The contract deadline was initially set at 24-30 months. But both contracts missed the first deadline, breaching, also, a follow-up delivery date for the dispatch of four Herons last August.

With the deal dogged by problems, the Turkish government threatened to pull the plug on the order, saying it would seek financial damages from the Israeli contractors.

Last December, however, Ankara announced its intention to speed up the deal with a revised contract that resulted from Barak's visit a month later.

The order is estimated at $183 million, of which $50 million is set to go to Turkish Aerospace Industries and Aselsan. While the bulk of the project rests with IAI and Elbit, TAI is the Heron program's prime contractor.

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul was purported by national media to have confirmed that Israel had provided training to Turkish military personnel who will operate the drones. Performance tests were also carried out in Turkey before military officials signed off on delivery of the aircraft from Israel.

The Heron drone is capable of flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet for about 30 hours. Its maximum operating range has been estimated to be 2,000 miles.

Major military forces around the globe have been increasing the use of UAVs for reconnaissance, surveillance and, at times, offensive purposes.

Muslim but secular, Turkey has had a strong history of military cooperation with Israel. It has also acted as an intermediary for the Jewish state with the Arab world. Yet the Heron dispute aggravated relations late last year, forcing senior Israeli officials to meet with high-level government officials to try and mend ties.

During Barak's visit, Gonul expressed hope that cooperation in arms projects between Turkey and Israel would continue regardless of the diplomatic fracas sparked by the Israeli siege of Gaza.

Turkey hasn't official announced where it plans to deploy the drones but it has been widely speculated that its military will use them in along the country's rugged frontiers with Iraq, near the southeast province of Batman.
 
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http://i.gizmodo.com/392022/israeli-institute-plans-battlefield-medevac-uavs

Israeli Institute Plans Battlefield Medevac UAVs




You may think someone over in Israel's Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies had been watching one too many episodes of The Jetsons, but no... this is a real project. It looks like an Israeli consortium, led by the Fisher Institute, is attempting to put together the world's first unpiloted battlefield resupply and evacuation aircraft, dubbed "MedUAV." And as the strangely 1960s sci-fi concept drawing shows, it could take the form of a ducted-fan VTOL air car.

The landing-to-evacuation time could be as short as 45 seconds, which would be good news for battlefield casualties needing attention, and for medics who'd otherwise risk coming under fire when attending the conventional way. The patient pod could even include sensors and a comms system so that doctors could interact with the patient mid-flight.

The Fisher institute is planning on achieving initial test-flights in just 24 months, which sounds like a pretty aggressive schedule, though the first model may start off as a fairly simple UAV. The vehicle would have a 4-person payload and fly up to 10,000 feet, managing speeds of 150 kts. Does that sound like a safe operational envelope given what we know can happen to UAVs? [Fisher Institute via Danger room]
 

nandu

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Countries across the globe shows interest in "drone"

The US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk spy plane looks like an upside-down double-decker bus with wings, flies slowly, offers zero leg room and is one of the most coveted pieces of military technology in the world.

Impressed by its successes in combat for the US Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries around the globe are lining up to buy the unmanned "drone" aircraft to bolster their own intelligence abilities, despite concerns that exports might send sensitive technology into the wrong hands.

Some experts said the export of the planes could also heighten tensions with countries like China, Iran and Russia, who could be the subject of closer observation and perceive the drones' operations as offensive threats.

Undaunted by such concerns, Northrop Grumman, the producer of the Global Hawk, just wrapped up an Asian tour in Tokyo with a full-sized mock-up and says that along with Japan other countries considering adding the plane to their air forces are South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Britain, Spain, New Zealand and Canada.

Germany has already contracted for a variant called the EuroHawk to be delivered this year.

"That you're going to see a lot more of these airplanes is the bottom line," said Curtis Orchard, vice president Japan for Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems. "There is still a 'boutiquey' feeling now, but there is going to be widespread usage."

Along with the armed Predator, the Global Hawk, which does not carry weapons, is one of the most successful of the new generation of drones, or Unmanned Aerial Systems, and has become a staple of Air Force operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The aircraft is increasingly being used for civilian responses to natural disasters or for scientific research. It recently flew disaster relief missions in support of the Haiti earthquake, providing thousands of images to recovery and relief agencies.

But military operations are where the plane has made its biggest mark.

Since its introduction 11 years ago, the Global Hawk has put in 40,000 flight hours, 75 per cent of that in combat. It can fly at altitudes of 60,000 feet (18,300 meters) for more than 32 hours at a time, meaning that it can carry out a wide range of intelligence, surveillance
and reconnaissance missions above most countries' defenses that would not be possible with manned aircraft.

"The Air Force just can't get enough of the Global Hawk," said Gemma Loochkartt, the Global Hawk Communications representative for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, in San Diego, California.

She said the Global Hawk fleet is now 21 planes finished or under construction, and that was likely to grow substantially.

Spy capabilities and the relatively low cost USD 5 million for a Predator and USD 30 million for a Global Hawk, compared to USD 85 million for the manned Joint Strike Fighter, which is still in development have made top-of-the-line drones an attractive option for US allies.

Japanese defense officials, for example, have said they are looking into introducing the plane in their next 5-year military plan as a means of watching neighboring North Korea, which is well within the Global Hawk's 16,000-kms range.

South Korea is believed to be interested in acquiring them for similar use.

But Northrop Grumman's sales effort is a delicate one the Global Hawk is the most sophisticated spy drone in the Air Force, and not all want to share the eye-in-the sky edge the US now enjoys. The political stakes are also high, North Korea, China, Russia and other countries are not likely to welcome spy planes loitering off their coast.

"I think there is a concern, not just in Asia but wherever the spy planes might be sold, of increased tensions if exports are given the go-ahead," said Takehiko Yamamoto, a professor of international relations at Tokyo's Waseda University. "China, Russia and others would perceive it as a potentially offensive capability. For Japan, I think it is a bad idea."

Drone technology is tightly regulated, as is also the case with stealth fighters such as the F-22, which also has brought interest from Japan and other potential buyers around the world but has been red-lighted for export by Congress.

Sales of the drones are controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime, a pact among 34 countries that is meant to limit the spread of missile technology and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Defence Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee in March that he shared the fears that drone technology could get into the wrong hands, citing in particular terrorist groups.

But he also noted that potential adversaries particularly Iran are already developing their own drone fleets, and said sharing technology with allies would be in Washington's best interest.

http://www.brahmand.com/news/Countries-across-the-globe-shows-interest-in-drone/3537/1/11.html
 

youngindian

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Indian firm develops world's smallest, lightest UAV

Sunday, April 04, 2010,


Kolkata: Claimed to be the world's smallest and lightest, Carbon, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by a private firm can be used for anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations besides disaster management and aerial photography.

It flies using four high-speed propellers (quadrotor) that allow vertical take-off and landing and built-in intelligence in the controller system makes the UAV to return to the starting point on its own.

"The quadrotor is a highly complex system compared to fixed wing, and it is one of the best in the world," says Hemendra Arya, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Bombay."The device has been manufactured using carbon fiber composites, and hence the name. Carbon's intuitive point and click graphical user interface requires minimal user assistance," said 26-year-old Ashish Bhat, one of the founders of Mumbai-based ideaForge Technology, which developed it.

The Carbon weighs just 1.5 kilograms and has a range of one km. With externally swappable Li-Pc batteries, it can fly up to 30 minutes per battery charge.

On-board stabilisation is achieved by a smart intelligent auto-pilot controller receiving inputs from a GPS, gyro, magnetometers, accelerometers, and altitude sensors, he said.

Bhat's UAV has won a prize for the Best Autonomous Hovering Vehicle from among 16 international teams in the first US-Asian Demonstration and Assessment of Micro Aerial and Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology.

http://www.zeenews.com/news616456.html
 

Anshu Attri

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http://idrw.org/?p=1172

Now Smallest & Lightest UAV by an Indian Firm



Indian firms have been moving from one innovation to the other. After the Indian version of the iPad by NotionInk an Indian private firm has hit the headlines for having developed an UAV. This Unarmed Combat Vehicle (UAV) is said to be the world’s smallest and lightest. Named Carbon, this UAV will be of great help in fighting terrorists as well as in defence applications.
The UAV has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. It can carry intelligence equipment on board and is very useful in disaster management and aerial photography. It can be programmed to take of on a preplanned mission and land back at the same location after completing it.
It is made of carbon fiber composites and weighs only 1.5 kg. It has a range of one km and is powered by Li-Pc batteries. In the first US-Asian Demonstration and Assessment of Micro Aerial and Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology the UAV won the prize for the best entry amongst 16 other entries.
 

Anshu Attri

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http://www.deccanchronicle.com/national/worlds-smallest-and-lightest-uav-developed-397

World's smallest and lightest UAV developed


Kolkata: Claimed to be the world's smallest and lightest, Carbon, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by a private firm can be used for anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations besides disaster management and aerial photography.
It flies using four high-speed propellers (quadrotor) that allow vertical take-off and landing and built-in intelligence in the controller system makes the UAV to return to the starting point on its own.
"The quadrotor is a highly complex system compared to fixed wing, and it is one of the best in the world," said Hemendra Arya, Associate Professor, Department of Aerospace
Engineering, IIT Bombay.
"The device has been manufactured using carbon fiber composites, and hence the name. Carbon's intuitive point and click graphical user interface requires minimal user
assistance," said 26-year-old Ashish Bhat, one of the founders of Mumbai-based ideaForge Technology, which developed it.
The Carbon weighs just 1.5 kilograms and has a range of one km. With externally swappable Li- Pc batteries, it can fly up to 30 minutes per battery charge.
On-board stabilisation is achieved by a smart intelligent auto-pilot controller receiving inputs from a GPS, gyro, magnetometers, accelerometers, and altitude sensors, he said.
Bhat's UAV has won a prize for the Best Autonomous Hovering Vehicle from among 16 international teams in the first US-Asian Demonstration and Assessment of Micro Aerial
and Unmanned Ground Vehicle Technology.
 

Anshu Attri

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http://www.ideaforge.co.in/web/products/uas

Unmanned Aerial Systems
NETRA is a completely autonomous hovering Unmanned Aerial Vehicle ideal for short range missions and requires very short training time. Its intuitive point and click graphical user interface requires minimal user assistance allowing the user to concentrate on the mission objective rather than the flying of the vehicle. Its quick deployment time and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) ability expand its usage to confined areas of operation. It finds application in Anti-terrorist operations, Counter-insurgency in forested areas, Hostage situations, Border infiltration monitoring, Local law enforcement operations, Search and Rescue operations, Disaster management, Aerial Photography and more.



Specifications
Weight: 1.5 kg
Dimensions: 90 cm x 90 cm
Power source: External swappable Li-Po batteries
Payload: Hi-resolution daylight camera or Thermal Camera with Pan & Tilt control



Performance
Range: 1.5 km LOS
Endurance: 30 min per battery charge
Wind Resistance: Upto 15 knots

carbon uav......














 
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RPK

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http://www.flightglobal.com/article...r-force-orders-harop-loitering-munitions.html

Indian air force orders Harop loitering munitions



The Indian air force is to purchase Israel Aerospace Industries' Harop loitering munition system, with deliveries next year.

Suitable for launch from a variety of platforms, the long-endurance Harop has tactical unmanned air vehicle-type capabilities, including an electro-optical/infrared seeker providing 360° coverage. The aircraft can search for, detect and attack high-value mobile, time-critical and moving targets at land or sea, and with pinpoint accuracy from long range, IAI says.

Each Harop system comprises transportable launchers and a mission control shelter that provides a man-in-the-loop function to approve engagements or abort attacks in real time to avoid collateral damage. The system can be used across a range of scenarios, from low- to high-intensity conflicts, urban warfare and counter-terror operations.


After launch, a Harop air vehicle navigates towards a target area and loiters while searching for targets. If an attack mission is aborted, the UAV can be returned to loitering mode before making a new strike. Another Harop can be used to deliver real-time video to support battle damage assessment tasks.

IAI's success builds on its previous sale of Harpy attack drones to India several years ago, and follows a German army order for the Harop system signed last year with the company and Rheinmetall Defence.
 

nandu

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Predator-series UAVs surpass one million flight hours

The General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) Predator-series of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has surpassed one million flight hours, the company announced on 6 April.

The milestone encompasses just under 80,000 missions, over 85 per cent of which have been flown in combat.

According to GA-ASI, the identity of the specific aircraft and operator that achieved the milestone will not be known until mid-May due to delayed flight hours reporting from the field.

Predator-series UAVs are in constant daily operations supporting the US Air Force (USAF), US Army, US Navy (USN), US Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana – AMI), the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) and other customers.

Over 400 aircraft have been produced since the first Predator took flight in 1994, including RQ/MQ-1 Predator A, I-GNAT ER/Sky Warrior Alpha, MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B), MQ-1C Sky Warrior and Predator C Avenger aircraft, among others.

Predator-series flight hours have increased in recent years from 80,000 hours in 2006 to 130,000 hours in 2007, 235,000 hours in 2008 and 295,000 hours in 2009. The one million flight hours milestone comes less than a month after the USAF announced that it had surpassed 700,000 flight hours for the MQ-1B Predator

http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jdw/jdw100409_1_n.shtml
 
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http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Se...et-of-Israeli-killer-UAVs/UPI-67451271097790/

India wants fleet of Israeli killer UAVs


TEL AVIV, Israel, April 12 (UPI) -- India is seeking to acquire Israeli killer drones for use against insurgents but possibly against terrorist groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well.

The proposition gained momentum after the November 2008 carnage in Mumbai, India's financial capital, when Pakistani infiltrators killed 166 people in three days of bloodshed.

Now New Delhi wants to muster at least 25-30 of the armed unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel, one of its key arms suppliers and a global leader in unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

Asia Times Online reported that official sources in New Delhi say that India, which is the midst of a massive military modernization program, should have a new fleet of killer drones within two years.

At present, it has five armed unmanned combat aerial vehicles.

But military commanders engaged in combating several internal insurgencies, including an Islamist one in disputed Kashmir and a Maoist one across central India, are convinced they must emulate U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan against the Taliban and al-Qaida.

These attacks, using MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper UAVs armed with Hellfire AGM-114 air-to-ground missiles, have decimated Taliban and jihadist leadership cadres in recent months.

Israel's air force has used killer drones to eliminate senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants in the Gaza Strip in recent years.

Since the United States, since 2001 a close Indian ally also combating Islamist terror, refuses to provide India -- or Pakistan, for that matter -- with UCAVs, Israel is seen as the main supplier.

Until now, most of India's UAV acquisitions have been surveillance and reconnaissance variants such as Heron drones built by Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems.

But, Asia Times Online says, "Israeli arms suppliers have been briefed by New Delhi that future UAV fleets to India should comprise a 'bigger dose' of attack UAVs."

So, "in keeping with new threat dimensions," the Indian air force is looking to induct Israeli Harop killer UAVs from 2011 onward. "Other sections of the armed forces are likely to follow."

The Harop, or Harpy 2, is a UCAV developed by the Malat division of IAI. But rather than carry air-to-ground missiles, this hunter-killer UAV is designed to be the weapon itself by self-destructing into its targets. These are primarily intended to knock out air defenses.

The Harop has a range of 625 miles and an endurance time of six hours. It carries a 51-pound warhead.

The original IAI Harpy, with a range of 312 miles and a maximum speed of 115 mph, carries a 70-pound high-explosive warhead and is designed to attack radar systems.

But the Indians could find themselves with a problem if they opt for the Harpy and probably the Harop as well.

Israel clashed with the United States, its strategic ally, when it sold early model Harpys to China in 1994 for $5 million.

Washington insisted the contract be scrapped, claiming the UAV contains U.S. technology. IAI claimed it was an Israeli design.

When Beijing sent the Harpys back to Israeli for upgrading, the Israelis had to return them without improvements.

Since the Americans won't sell India UCAVs, presumably because it won't even provide them to the Pakistanis who are killing Taliban as well, it may be Washington will block Israeli Harpy sales to New Delhi as well.

The Indians may prefer IAI's unique long-range Heron TP, dubbed the Eitan, which has an endurance of 24-36 hours and can operate about 40,000 feet.

Although primarily designed for surveillance and reconnaissance, it can carry weapons and is comparable in size, payload and performance to the U.S. MQ-9 Reaper, an enlarged version of the venerable Predator.

The 4.5-ton Eitan is the largest operational UAV in the world. It's 79 feet long, has a wingspan of 86 feet -- about the size of a Being 737 airliner -- and can stay aloft for 20 hours at high altitude.

There seems little doubt that it can be armed with Hellfire missiles and perhaps even configured to carry 500-pound bombs.

Asia Times Online said, "Officials say that over the longer term India will look to procure or develop the next generation UCAVs that will substitute missile-fitted jet fighters for conventional attack missions."
 
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http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Iran_drones_can_spy_and_strike_999.html

New Iran drones can spy and strike

A senior Iranian military official warned that Tehran's newly produced unmanned aerial vehicles were capable of both striking hostile targets and gathering intelligence.

"We have made good advances and production is going on at suitable rate," ground forces commander Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan told a news conference.

He said an unspecified number of the Iran-made drones would be displayed along with a fleet of new weapons, military equipment, jet fighters and advanced combat helicopters Sunday during the country's Army Day.

"The planes," Pourdastan said of the new drones, "would be used for operations as well as surveillance, which means that they can send us online footage from faraway distances and can also be armed for striking at targets."

He didn't elaborate but Iran's designs have already raised a critical eyebrow in Washington.

U.S. Secretary of State Robert Gates, specifically, warned last month that the new drones could "create difficulty" for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan, expressing fear, also, that the aircraft could fall into the hands of terrorists.

Tehran launched an arms development program 30 years ago, in the wake of a U.S. weapons embargo. As of 1992, it has produced its own tanks, armored personnel carriers, missiles and fighter aircraft.

Iranian officials have long argued that the country's military and arms programs were intended for "defensive purposes" and "should not be perceived as a threat to any other country," the state-run Fars news agency reported.

Even so, news of the drones' strike and intelligence-gathering capacities, came a month after Israel rolled out a fleet of pilotless planes capable of flying within Iran's reach.

Israeli military officials have declined to disclose the size of the fleet or whether it was purposely designed for use against Iran.

The Israeli drone launch, however, came at a precarious moment, viewed also as a message for Tehran.

Israel worries about Iran because of Tehran's controversial nuclear program, missiles and repeated threats against the Jewish state. Officials in Israel have suggested that it could launch pre-emptive strikes against Iranian nuclear sites if it is shown that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons.

Iran has long spurned the allegation claiming its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes.

The Islamic Republic is shielded by a sophisticated ground-to-air missile system. The government recently accused the U.S. administration of trying to scupper a S-300 missile defense deal with Russia for fear that Iran may reverse engineer the system.
 
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U.S. Army Unveils UAV Road Map

The U.S. Army wants its existing helicopters to be able to fly without pilots - to be "optionally manned," in the parlance of the service's new road map for unmanned aircraft systems.

Released April 15 at the Army Aviation Association of America conference here, the 140-page document is meant to help industry understand what the service wants, said Col. Christopher Carlile, who directs the Army's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala.

The Army would prefer to upgrade its helicopters to perform UAV missions rather than buy expensive new aircraft, Carlile said.

The AH-64D Apache Longbow, the CH-47F Chinook and UH-60M Blackhawk already have most of the necessary electronics on board, while Sikorsky plans to autonomously fly the UH-60M by year's end, he said.

Now, the Army needs to do a cost-benefit analysis for where it wants to introduce unmanned or optionally piloted aircraft, Carlile said. If flying the helicopters autonomously does not introduce savings, then it won't make sense to pursue it, he said.

The Army is also moving toward open architectures for its systems and a common ground control station.

"As we move into the future, and even into the near term, the commonality of systems and open architecture is not only required, but it's demanded for any new equipment," Carlile said.

The Army also wants its UAVs to operate as autonomously as possible while in flight and during takeoff and landing, Carlile said.

But UAVs that fire weapons autonomously are not part of the Army's plan, he said.

"We don't believe that, in the conduct of ground war fighting, you can possibly take out the soldier from that mix," he said.

At the beginning of the road map development, Carlile learned right away that everyone wants a UAV.

"I was kind of shocked that I didn't have the [Judge Advocate General's] Corps, the lawyers, saying they needed a UAV for something," he said.

To address this demand, the Army has to do a cost-benefit analysis for introducing UAVs into new missions, Carlile said. Swapping UAVs into a previously manned mission brings along new equipment, more training and sometimes requires more people, he said.

However, those missions that make sense as unmanned will become unmanned, he added.

The road map addresses the near term (2010 to 2015), the midterm (2015 to 2025) and the far term (2025 to 2035).

The document is not a budgetary, acquisition or policy document, said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli. Instead, it is a long-range strategic vision paper that is expected to be updated frequently, he said.

"This capability has forever changed the way the Army operates," Chiarelli said.

Find the road map in PDF form at http://www.rucker.army.mil/usaace/uas
 

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http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?topicName=india&id=news/awx/2010/04/22/awx_04_22_2010_p0-221790.xml&headline=Nishant%20UAV%20Undergoing%20Confirmatory%20Trialshttp://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?topicName=india&id=news/awx/2010/04/22/awx_04_22_2010_p0-221790.xml&headline=Nishant%20UAV%20Undergoing%20Confirmatory%20Trials

By Anantha Krishnan M.

India's Nishant UAV is undergoing crucial confirmatory user trials at Pokhran. The trials began April 20 and will last for one more week.

Nishant previously underwent stiff user trials at Pokhran in August 2009. The UAV was developed by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), along with two other Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) laboratories.

A senior official overseeing the program at DRDO headquarters in New Delhi confirmed to Aviation Week that the UAV's confirmatory trials are crucial for the Indian Army. Senior scientists and engineers from DRDO and the India Army are witnessing the flights. During the last trials, the Army wanted to improve some features which are being tested during the current trials. Two flights have been completed and four more are planned in the coming days, the official said.

A senior Army official at Pokhran said the trials are moving forward in a very satisfactory manner. "We are checking three crucial parameters: video quality, tracking ability and fall of gunshot [missed distance after firing]. These input performances are critical to our operations in the forward areas," the official said.

All four limited series production UAVs are taking part in the Pokhran trials. Sources said that senior officials from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Punjab police are witnessing the trials. DRDO has delivered the first four UAVs to the Indian Army at a cost of 800 million Rs ($17.9 million). The UAVs earlier underwent trials at Kolar, near Bangalore.

Nishant can stay aloft for nearly five hours and has a maximum speed of 185 km. per hour. It is a multimission day/night capability UAV with advance payloads, a jam resistant command link and digital down link. Nishant is compact and can be easily deployed for battlefield reconnaissance, target tracking and fine-tuning of artillery fire. It is launched using a mobile hydro-pneumatics system and can be recovered with the help of parachutes.
 

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