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The Indian Air Force (IAF), through the Air Officer Commanding of the 12 Base Repair Depot, Air Force, representing the Head Quarter Maintenance Command, has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) to Indian firms capable of designing, developing, testing, and delivering ‘Expendable Low-Cost Target Drones.’ This initiative aims to enhance training for personnel engaged in Counter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (CUAV) Systems.

The project emphasizes the importance of indigenous components, software, and technology to align with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ goal, fostering self-reliance and innovation in the defence sector.

Key Features Expected in the Target Drones:

  1. Quick Assembly: Laser-cut cardboard sections for rapid airframe assembly.
  2. Auto Pilot: Open source or locally developed Auto Pilot system.
  3. Motor Origin: Usage of low-cost Brushless DC (BLDC) Motors, preferably of Indian origin.
  4. Telemetry and GPS: Programming for waypoints through laptop/tablet with telemetry capability and GPS for piloting.
  5. Flight Characteristics: Lightweight, hand-launched with skid landing, controlled by reusable electronics in case of fuselage damage, and flight time ranging from 15 to 30 minutes.
  6. Communication: Utilization of ISM band telemetry for communication.
  7. Control Surfaces: Minimal control surfaces for yaw and pitch control, providing easy packaging and transportability.
  8. Simulation: Pre-flying simulators for personnel training.

Categories of Expendable Target Drones:

  1. Quadcopter: With auto-stabilization and remote control.
  2. RC Plane: Manual control with a 1000 MM wingspan.
  3. Stabilized RC Plane: Equipped with autopilot and stabilization (1000 MM wingspan).
  4. FPV-Equipped RC Plane: Offering FPV, stabilization, autopilot (2000 MM wingspan), payload capacity of 1.5 KG, Range of Action (RoA) 50 Km, and endurance of 1.5 to 2 hours.
  5. Custom RC Planes: Tailored based on the specific needs and inputs from field units.

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