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March 2010 I A Commentary on Unmanned Systems

A look at the present

Unmanned Systems-
Unmanned Capability
Development and The capability provided by an unmanned system is game changing. It is possible to
have your adversaries under surveillance 24/7. No armed force can do without
Procurement programs
unmanned systems and they have proved their worth in Iraq, Afghanistan and the
in India. Balkan conflict.

Unmanned systems not only provide a platform for precision attacks; they go a big way
in saving human lives and preventing collateral damage.

The Indian Army and Paramilitary forces encounter terrorists, insurgents and other
asymmetric and urban warfare threats in cities as well as in the challenging terrains of
North and the North East parts of India. An unmanned system goes a long way in
assisting the forces to keep control.

This report provides an update on the various unmanned air, ground and underwater
systems currently under development for the Indian armed forces.
Unmanned systems are a strong focus Program: MALE (Medium Altitude Long
in the prospective plans for Indian Endurance) UAV- RUSTOM
defence forces as well as homeland
security agencies. Program was initiated by DRDO
through ADE. First prototype trial
India is building significant unmanned carried out in September 2008.
capability for battlefield management for
Range: 250-300km
conventional, asymmetric and urban
warfare. Payload: 200kg
Max speed: 225 km/h
Current Indian plans include unmanned
systems for ground, underwater and air Operational Ceiling: 35000 feet
superiority. Endurance: 24-36hrs
Project cost: US$ 225 million

Detail: The indigenous Rustom project is a

pioneering act of the government, as it allows
the ADE to choose a domestic partner for the
joint development and production for the
MALE UAV, termed as Production Agency cum
Development Partner (PADP). DRDO will follow
a practice of concurrent engineering where
initial design efforts also take into
consideration production issues, with the
production agency participating in the
development of the system right from the
design stage.
A total of 23 firms had expressed interest in the
project and the RFP was issued to the Tata
Group; Larsen and Toubro; Godrej Industries
and Hindustan Aeronautics-Bharat Electronics.
The chosen PADP was also to have a financial
stake in the Rustom project. However only
HAL-BEL submitted a response to the RFP,
leading to a single vendor situation. The private
companies found the terms and conditions of
six years of investments for design and
development as risky with very low returns on
In a setback to the Rustom program, the UAV
crashed during its trial on Nov 16, 2009. The
test flight took place at the Taneja aerospace
airfield, Hosur, Karnataka. The taxiing and
takeoff was exactly as planned, however due
misjudgment of altitude of the flight, the on-
board engine was switched off which made the
thrust go to zero.
Program: PAWAN-MINI UAV Details: This project was initiated in late 2005
and was put on the fast track. The drone will be
4 prototypes to be built by ADE
powered by a NPO-Saturn supplied 36MT
Range: 150km turbofan rated at 400kg. The drone is capable
of simulating the flight profiles of land attack;
Endurance: 5hrs
anti-ship cruise and anti-ship sea skimming
Development cost: US$ 33 million missiles. The drone will have a digital flight
management system, which will enable the
drone to undertake various flight maneuvers
Detail: This is a joint program between DRDO like snaking, pop-up and a 40-degree dive. The
and Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI). The program was slated for its first prototype flight
Electro-Optical sensors will be provided by IAI. in early 2009. More details are awaited on the
ADE will develop the stabilizer platform. The same.
engine is yet to be determined; however it will
not come from an indigenous source.
Program: NRUAV; Naval rotary unmanned air
Based on the Chetak helicopter
Conventional take off and landing. platform.
Payload: 130kg Endurance: 6hrs.
Endurance: 2 hours Operational celing: 15000feet.
Recovery: Parachutes; Air bags. Max speed: 186 km/h. (100 knots)
30 units to be built by HAL Payload: 220kg

Detail: This is a high-speed, medium altitude Detail: The NRUAV will be mainly supplied to
system. It will be equipped with a tricycle the Indian navy, though an attractive export
under-carriage. Its mission sensor suite will market also exists. A contract between IAI and
include X-band inverse synthetic aperture radar HAL is currently pending final approval for the
(probably an ELTA supply), a wideband two- exact business terms.
way data link and a ring laser gyro based
inertial navigation system coupled to a GPS The payload of the NRUAV will consist of the
receiver. The first flight of the prototype was ELTA EL/M -2022 as its multi-mission radar for
slated for the second half of 2009. More details detecting small naval targets, ground moving
are awaited on the same. targets indication (GMTI), strip and spot
Synthetic Aperture Radar modes, range
signature, Inverse synthetic aperture radar
Program: NIRBHAY; High Speed TARGET (ISAR) and a Search and Rescue Transponder
DRONE. (SART). The radar incorporates a Pulse-Doppler
target detection and can detect up to 64
Maximum Take-off weight: 650kg airborne targets and track 10 of them.
Max speed: 0.92Mach at 10000ft.
Max speed: 1100km/h at sea level. Program: NETRA, MICRO unmanned air
Recovery: Parachutes; Air bags. vehicle

80 units to be built by HAL QUADROTOR, with VTOL capability.

2-man portable design, weight 1.5kg.
Payload: 300 gms. plywood at 3metres distance and a diode laser
pointer based precision aiming device. DAKSH
Operational ceiling: 200metres.
also has the capability to lift, drag and tow
Endurance: 30 min suspected objects from the field.
Range: 1500metres. DAKSH can also be used for NBC
reconnaissance. It carries onboard a
Built by DRDO and IDEAFORGE Tech.
Detail: This is a fully autonomous UAV designed
contaminated locations.
specifically for anti-terrorist and counter
insurgency operations. It is used for DAKSH is controlled by a Master Control
surveillance and reconnaissance. The operator Station (MCS) that features a membrane
simply selects the waypoints from a graphical keypad, touch screen and joysticks with speed
interface showing the map of the area and control. It can control DAKSH either in a
specifies the heights at these positions. The wireless manner or with the help of fiber
auto-pilot controller takes over the tasks of optics.
take-off and navigation as per the flight plan.
DAKSH and the MCS are carried along with
The onboard stabilization is achieved by a
bomb disposal stores and crew in an
smart auto pilot controller getting inputs from
ergonomically designed carrier vehicle.
a GPS, gyro, magnetometers, accelerometers
and altitude sensors. The built-in intelligence in 20 units of DAKSH are being progressively
the controller allows for failsafe operations supplied to the Indian Army by DRDO.
wherein in case of either a communication
failure or low battery, the UAV returns to take-
off position automatically. Program: TRACKED UNMANNED GROUND
100 units of NETRA are being supplied to the
Ministry of Home affairs. Armored, Amphibious and Air-Mobile
Capability: NBC reconnaissance.
Program: Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), Total weight: 14-tonne.
DAKSH Range: 400km
Range: 500 meters. Max Speed: 65 km/h
Endurance: 3 hours. Based on BMP-IIk chassis
Object handling capacity: 9-20kg.
Weight: 350kg. DETAIL: This unmanned ground vehicle has
Designed for IED handling. cross country capability and is fitted with
nuclear, chemical, meteorological and
positional sensors for monitoring contaminated
Detail: The unmanned ground vehicle is areas. This vehicle will counter threats from
designed for IED handling and is augmented armies that use NBC warfare.
with X-Ray scanning and an explosive-based The prototype of this vehicle was handed over
Water Jet Disrupter. The operation includes to the army in Aug, ’09. It consists of a drive-by-
safe-handling and removal of hazardous wire system, which includes electromechanical
objects, with in-situ scanning of suspected actuators and drives for the driver interface.
objects. The attached Water Jet Disruptor has a The signals from the engine are acquired by a
penetration capability through 1/2'’ inch
data acquisition card and displayed in the Program: AUTONOMOUS UNDER WATER
graphical user interface. The vehicle can VEHICLE (AUV- 150)
transmit data to the command headquarters
Max Depth: 150meters.
on request through the communication link
controller and a STAR-V radio set. Max speed: 2-4 knots (3.7-7.4km/h)
8 vehicles are to be supplied to the Indian army Weight: 490kg.
by the CVRDE (Combat vehicles Research and
Detail: This AUV is designed by DRDO and built
Development Establishment). This vehicle is
by the engineers of the Central Mechanical
widely presumed to be the precursor to the
Engineering Research Institute (CMERI),
development of a future unmanned battle
Durgapur- West Bengal. The project was
sponsored by the ministry of earth sciences and
had technical assistance from IIT Kharagpur.
Program: GUN MOUNTED REMOTELY The AUV is 4.8 meters long and 50cm wide. It
OPERATED VEHICLE (GMR-ROV) has onboard a depth sensor, altimeter, sonar,
GPS, payload sensors and a hybrid
Range: 200 meters. communication system. It is powered by a
Endurance: 1.5 hours. lithium-polymer battery.
Total Weight: 300kg. The fresh-water test of the AUV-150 was
carried out at in Kerela last month (Feb ’10).
Status: Prototype The ocean-test is slated for March ’10, off the
coast of Chennai. The test will comprise sea
floor mapping and monitoring of
Detail: This is a remotely operated vehicle
environmental parameters like current,
designed for offensive operations mainly in
temperature, depth and salinity. Once the
urban areas for hostage situations and counter
technology is proven, it will be customized for
insurgency missions. The GMR is equipped with
military use, like mine countermeasures,
a light machine gun (7.62 cal) and a grenade
coastal monitoring, etc.
launcher (30 cal) with belt-feed ammunition.
The guns have a 2-axis degree of freedom.
The GMR has adequate vision capability to
Program: Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV)
operate during day and night conditions and
has a laser pointer for aiming. The indigenously
Max Depth: 610 meters.
developed PAN-O-VISION camera enables a
180 degree view and has a 22x optical zoom. Max weight: 20.6 tone
The GMR is controlled through a portable Capacity: 18 men
Master Control Station allowing the operator
Operate up to SEASTATE-5
easy use and deploy ability.
The GMR-ROV is being developed by the
Research & Development Establishment Detail: The Indian Navy has already selected
(RADE), Pune. the REMORA 2000 deep sea rescue vehicle for
its submarines in 2005, along with its launch
and recovery system and a fully integrated self-
contained emergency life support system
package. The DSRV can transfer personnel
under pressure up to 6 atmospheres into Aerostat systems have a great use in the Home-
surface decompression facilities. The related Land Security arena as well. The Ministry of
decompression facility can treat more than 100 Home Affairs is seriously considering this
personnel. The entire Remora 2000 system can system for the upcoming Common Wealth
be air-transported for rapid deployment. The Games in Delhi. These will be smaller aerostats
contract with Canada’s Ocean works is yet to that will have high resolution cameras
be signed.

Mini and Micro UAVs – Private Initiatives

Program: AEROSTAT RADAR – EL/M-2083 Unmanned systems is one of the areas where
Detail: India is purchasing 2 more of these there are several private-domestic firms taking
systems from Israel. This is a follow on order to active participation. Below is a brief description
the 2 systems that were purchased in early of some of them.
2007; these are currently deployed in Punjab
and the Rann of Kutch. The Indian Air Force
requires a total of 13 such systems. AURORA INTEGRATED SYSTEMS (AIS)

There are unconfirmed reports that one of the Aurora Integrated Systems is an Indian
Aerostat radars has ‘gone down’ and that it company developing indigenous technology,
was probably shot down from across the manufacturing and integrating airborne
border. systems with a focus on small Unmanned Aerial
Systems (UAS). It is supported and funded by
Current aerostat systems use a 100-250 foot the TATA group.
long, helium filled, unmanned blimp as the
platform and an array of payloads including Aurora Integrated Systems designs and
radars, communication links and other sensors. manufactures Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
These tethered aerostats are designed to stay
AIS is currently offering four different UAS:
in the same place and are secured by a cable to
keep the aerostat in position. At that altitude, •Sky Dot - Micro Aerial Vehicle
large aerostats carry a two ton payload and can
stay up for about 30 days at a time. For the •Urban View - Low Altitude Surveillance
current platforms usually two radars are System
carried - A surveillance radar and a precision
track and illumination radar (PTIR). The
surveillance radar provides long-range •Aero Vista – Aerostat
coverage (about 500 kilometers for the EL/M-
2083), while the PTIR, which is a steerable
system capable of tracking multiple targets, can
focus in on items of interest.
Anjani established its UAV Division in 2008 with
The EL/M-2083 costs about $20 million. Israel
a focus on Rotary wing UAVs. In 2009 Anjani
itself is using two of them, and has four more
took steps to begin production of some rotary
on order.
wing UAV models for applications as diverse as SPECK Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries
Aerial photography, Surveillance, Field have floated a joint venture firm to
inspection, Border control, and Military use. manufacture Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
for payloads less than 100 Kgs. The product
Anjani currently offers 2 models: range will include mini and micro UAVs.
MICRO UAS ADG-200 Product details are not available..



MUKESH KUMAR UDYOG (MKU) Lockheed Martin Corporation announced in

September ‘09 that it will be providing a grant
MKU has developed an unmanned Aerial to a group of 10 undergraduate students from
Vehicle christened ‘TERP-II’. It showcased a the Delhi Technology University (DTU),
prototype of TERP-II at the Defexpo-2010. It formerly the Delhi College of Engineering, to
plans to officially launch the ‘TERP-II’ by the develop a Next-Generation Urban UAV. The
middle of this year. Corporation will provide the student group
with Lockheed Martin-generated design space
The Tactical Reconnaissance Electrical Probe
to structure their efforts. The team will be
(TREP) is an all composite, backpack-able UAV
required to conduct initial design and then
System for situational awareness needs of
develop a flying prototype. This group of
military, paramilitary and civilian deployments.
students recently won the Director's award for
The other offering from MKU is the ERASMUS the best team effort for demonstrating a
UAV for frontline operations. The system is successful flight of an unmanned aerial vehicle
transported in 2 ruggedized containers and (UAV) at the 2009 Association of Unmanned
requires 45 minutes for assembly or Vehicles System International (AUVSI) Student
disassembly. The system is equipped with an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) competition.
Image Exploitation System which enables it to
track or target objects based on a visual image
reference. ideaFORGE

ideaForge, a company founded by three IIT

Bombay alumni, has developed Carbon, an
autonomous hovering Unmanned Aerial
India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited and Vehicle (UAV) for short range reconnaissance,
Israel Aerospace Industries have floated a joint surveillance and scientific missions, terrain
venture firm, Nova Integrated Systems Limited mapping, and disaster management. According
in India to manufacture Unmanned Aerial to the manufacturers, Carbon is the lightest
Vehicles (UAVs) for payloads greater than 100 and smallest possible UAV currently available.
Kg payloads. No products are available as of The aircraft weighs less than 1.5 kilogram and
now. can fly at a cruise speed of 25 kilometer per
hour (kmph) and a maximum speed of 40
SPECK SYSTEMS kmph. The inbuilt battery allows it to stay in air
for about 30 minutes and fly up to two DISCLAIMER: This note has been prepared by Religare Capital
Markets (“RCML”) on the basis of publicly available information,
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