The Defence Research and Development Organisation has started working on an ” Archer” medium-range unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that will be powered by a Turbojet engine. Details of the new UAV emerged when DRDO floated an Expression of Interest (EOI) tender for 4 prototypes that it plans to build with a Private Player.

Archer UAV will have a lower all-up weight than the Rustom-I UAV that was developed as Technological Demonstrator (TD) for the Tactical Airborne Platform for Aerial Surveillance-Beyond Horizon-201 or Tapas BH-201 long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle program.

Archer UAV likely will be an armed reconnaissance drone with a payload of 80km just going by the name that factually means ” a person who shoots with a bow and arrows, especially at a target”, even though at this point of time it can’t be confirmed by the DRDO was testing Rustom-I with dummy air to surface missiles for proposed combat role but that program never took off.

First Archer UAV will be ready within the first year after awarding of the contract and 3 more have been planned to be used as Prototypes for testing and flight certifications. Tender sees initial potential production order of 20 units.

Archer UAV is likely to have a combat radius of more than 200 kilometers, a ceiling of 5,000 meters, this type of medium-sized drone are also used for precise tactical reconnaissance, hit ground targets including high-value targets and bunkers, guide artillery fire, and conduct patrol missions in sensitive areas such as border and conflict regions.

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