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SOURCE: Hans News Service

The Combined Air Teaming System (CATS) developed by the public sector giant Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will redefine aerial warfare. The latest technological leap was conceived more than two years ago. UAV’s have been carrying out all the missions solo but with the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning they can carry out missions autonomously without any control from the ground. This gives them an opportunity to execute teaming.

They can be small as they do not have a pilot inside. But when they are small the sensors are small and the range becomes smaller. Therefore, they need a manned aircraft to aid them in firing long range weapons. For the past one year the HAL has been working on how to develop teaming which is based on AI.

Deputy Chief Test Pilot at HAL and incharge of the project Group Captain (Retd) Harsh Vardhan Thakur tells The Hans India, “CATS is a system of systems. It is an umbrella system where we have a mother ship based on the LCA platform. Eventually, the concept will be transported into other aircrafts including cargo and helicopters. The two-seater LCA will have a pilot in front and a weapon system operator in the rear. The major in the programme is UKAV which is under development.”

Explaining further, Thakur says, “A formation of one LCA with either two or four warriors will go inside the enemy territory and execute the combat. All the risky missions will be undertaken by the warriors.”

The second biggest asset is the CATS Hunter mounted on the aircraft wing. Once the aircraft reaches a battle area the CATS Hunter will be released from the aircraft and at the end of the mission it will either be directed to execute a suicidal strike out return base.

The third asset is the CATS Alpha (Air Launch Flexible Asset) which gives shape to swarm attack. A swarm of drones each carrying a payload of 5-8 kgs can target several enemy locations. It can be released by an aircraft using a glider that can hit the enemy territory. Several other assets are under development.