In a step forward in the nation’s Indigenisation drive, India is developing Intelligent Aircraft-mounted System for Long-range Surveillance and Reconnaissance. India’s premier authority for Defence development, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has taken the charge of developing the electro-optical imaging system that can be mounted on an aerial platform.

The project’s nodal agency is the DRDO’s Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) in Dehradun, which will be undertaken in collaboration with the private sector as a boost to self-reliance. The work is scheduled to begin this year.

Intelligent Aircraft-Mounted System
The Intelligent Aircraft-Mounted System will be installed on aeroplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles to enable the auto-acquisition and auto-tracking of numerous targets during both day and night and in a variety of climatic and environmental conditions.

Depending on whether the aerial platform is a fixed-wing aircraft or a helicopter, the system can be mounted on the nose or the underside of the platform. The sensor’s inputs will be incorporated into the Indian Air Force’s surveillance and communication networks and transmitted in real-time to command centres for decision-making.

The Intelligent Aircraft-Mounted System will boast various payloads and sensors such as a thermal imager, high-definition TV camera, infra-red cameras, laser range finder and laser target designator along with video target tracking, geo-positioning and geo-navigation capabilities. The aircraft-mounted system will reportedly weigh 50 kg including the payloads and measure around 20 inches in height and 16 inches in diameter.

The Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) focuses on research, design, development, and technology transfer in optical and electro-optical instrumentation, primarily for defence services. Recently, the organisation began working on projects to create various electro-optical systems for drone detection and for coastal and harbour surveillance.