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A leaked CGI image has sent ripples through the Indian defence sector, sparking speculation about the country’s upcoming unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV). Many believe it’s a glimpse into the secretive Futuristic Unmanned Fighter Aircraft (FUFA) program helmed by DRDO’s ADE (Aeronautical Development Establishment).

The FUFA program, shrouded in secrecy, aims to develop a twin-engine, low-observable (stealthy) UCAV. This “loyal wingman” concept envisions a high-speed, unmanned aircraft with a low radar cross-section (RCS) airframe. Equipped with internal weapons bays and capable of fully autonomous take-off and landing, FUFA could revolutionize air combat.

While DRDO has remained tight-lipped about FUFA, the leaked CGI image, reportedly from official sources, has ignited public interest. The image suggests a smaller aircraft, possibly falling below the size of the LCA-Tejas Mk1A fighter jet.

If the leaked image proves accurate and FUFA is indeed smaller than the Tejas, its powerplant could be the indigenously developed HTFE-25 engine by HAL, likely in a twin configuration, to propel an 8-9 ton platform.

The leaked image, whether intentional or not, has undeniably generated excitement. Only time will tell if it’s a true representation of FUFA. However, one thing is certain: India’s foray into advanced UCAV technology is a significant development with the potential to reshape the future of aerial warfare.

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