SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
In a noteworthy development, the Indian Navy has submitted a substantial proposal to the Ministry of Defence, urging approval for the production and procurement of a second indigenous aircraft carrier. The Navy intends to recommend the project to Cochin Shipyard Limited, a move that signifies the nation’s commitment to strengthening its maritime capabilities. The Ministry of Defence is set to convene soon to evaluate and sanction the Navy’s proposal.
The second indigenous aircraft carrier, known as IAC-II, will undergo modifications to facilitate the deployment of Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs) and High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). These advanced aircraft are currently under development in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and will possess Short-Takeoff and Landing (STOL) capabilities. These unique aircraft can take off in as little as 586 feet and execute short landings within just 335 feet.
One of the prominent features of the IAC-II will be a dedicated ground control station, specially designed for the operation of UCAVs and HALE UAVs. This system will play a crucial role in executing naval missions and providing sea-based support for special operations forces.
Transitioning to UCAV/HALE UAVs for aircraft carrier operations necessitates several key features, including a robust and ruggedized airframe capable of withstanding austere conditions. These aircraft must also be weatherized to enable flight in a broader range of environmental conditions. Furthermore, the aircraft will be equipped with detachable wings that can be compactly stored in a carrier hangar, making them readily available for a flight when needed. These UCAV/HALE UAVs will be designed to take off without the need for catapults and will not require arresting gear for landings.
According to Indian Navy studies, incorporating UCAV/HALE UAVs into aircraft carrier operations will significantly reduce the cost per flight hour, particularly when conducting reconnaissance or surveillance missions compared to traditional helicopters. Moreover, these unmanned aircraft offer extended endurance, enhanced persistence, and improved aircrew safety compared to manned aircraft.
UCAV/HALE UAVs will be equipped with a versatile multi-sensor suite, including Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI), Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), and Signals Intelligence (SIGINT). This extensive sensor package will support a wide range of land and maritime missions, making them invaluable assets in naval operations.
But Deck-based UCAV/HALE UAVs are still a work in progress and it might take another decade before such platforms can be developed, tested and certified for operations from aircraft carriers.
NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of idrw.org in any form even for YouTube Videos to avoid Copy right strikes. Websites doing illegal reproductions will get DCMA and Legal Notices.