In a bid to join the League of Nations developing advanced stealth unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), India’s Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has been making significant strides with its Stealth Wing Flying Testbed (SWiFT). This 1-ton UAV has recently undergone a series of test flights, showcasing its design and flying characteristics, while also serving as a technological precursor for a larger 15-ton Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) slated for development shortly.

Iran, Russia, and China have already initiated their programs to develop stealthy, flying-wing UAVs, and India is keen to join this elite group with its indigenous technological advancements. Swift, as a stepping stone in this direction, has been instrumental in testing and refining technologies that will find their place in the larger UCAV, which is expected to fly alongside India’s 5th Generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) fighter jets.

According to sources at, DRDO is gearing up for the development of a larger, low-observable UCAV powered by the Dry Kaveri engine. This advanced UCAV is projected to carry a substantial offensive payload, weighing nearly 1.5 tons, within its Internal Weapons Bay (IWB). The deployment of such a system is envisioned for high-threat environments, allowing it to operate deep within enemy lines, complementing the capabilities of India’s AMCA fleet.

The Dry Kaveri engine, a significant advancement in indigenous aero-engine technology, is expected to provide the necessary power for the UCAV, enabling it to achieve the desired stealth, strong penetration, and precision strike capabilities. The use of an Internal Weapons Bay further enhances its stealth profile by concealing its payload until it reaches its target.

This UCAV is designed to undertake offensive air superiority operations and suppress air defenses in highly contested environments. Its ability to operate well inside enemy lines makes it a valuable asset in scenarios where precision strikes and strong confrontations are paramount.

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