SOURCE: IDRW NEWS NETWORK (INN)
In first of things to come, Narendra Modi government as per media reports cleared Rs 3,000-crore plan to develop a new engine that will power India’s first unmanned combat aircraft.
Ghatak engine will be derived from abandoned Kaveri engine Program and to address Indian military requirements for weaponized unmanned systems, India will also be importing 10 Heron TP UCAV’s from Israel and will also be aggressively pursuing indigenous capabilities to develop, manufacture, operate and support platforms and technologies related to drone weaponisation.
Indian establishment like Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) has been tasked to develop AURA USAV and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) along with DRDO are been tasked to develop Rustom-II HALE Class platform with offensive capabilities.
AURA UCAV is India’s most ambitious unnamed aerial system which will have a blend wing body and will have stealth characters to make it effective Ground Strike platform. AURA weighing 15 tons will be powered by a single Ghatak turbofan engine which will allow the drone to cruise at Mach 1.2 at an altitude of 30,000 ft.
AURA will also be able to carry weapons in internal storage which will allow air force to operate them in contested access or denied enemy airspace. ADA is currently collaborating with various Universities to prepare basic technological developments before the project goes official.
AURA will greatly benefit from India’s 5th generation AMCA project which will be taken up as a parallel project by ADA and will have a developmental stage of 8 years once Project is given a go-ahead.
Much before AURA UCAV becomes a reality Indian armed forces will have the experience to operate combat UAVS in the form of imported Israeli supplied Heron-TP and will also see much earlier induction of Rustom-II UCAVs before AURA.
Twin engined Rustom-II UCAV powered by heavy fuel engines will have the ability to carry multiple payloads weighing 350kgs and will be able to cruise at 30,000 ft for 24 hours permitting weather conditions.
Rise of unmanned systems with offensive carrying capability by China and Pakistan in the region requires effective response from India and Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Indian Military planners have started ground works to develop comprehensive range of Combative Drone technologies within the Country which needs proper planning to complete development stage without delays in flight testing and enter in-service date as per project schedule.