Bharat Rakshak Forum Announcement

Hello Everyone,

A warm welcome back to the Bharat Rakshak Forum.

Important Notice: Due to a corruption in the BR forum database we regret to announce that data records relating to some of our registered users have been lost. We estimate approx. 500 user details are deleted.

To ease the process of recreating the user IDs we request members that have previously posted on the BR forums to recognise and identify their posts, once the posts are identified please contact the BRF moderator team by emailing BRF Mod Team with your post details.

The mod team will be able to update your username, email etc. so that the user history can be maintained.

Unfortunately for members that have never posted or have had all their posts deleted i.e. users that have 0 posts, we will be unable to recreate your account hence we request that you re-register again.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your understanding.

Regards,
Seetal

UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

The Military Issues & History Forum is a venue to discuss issues relating to the military aspects of the Indian Armed Forces, whether the past, present or future. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
JayS
BRFite
Posts: 1789
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JayS » 08 Nov 2016 13:47

Rishi Verma wrote:
JayS wrote:Why isn't any of the big private companies taking up drone development?? Making small drones is not that much of an issue from money POV. OTOH I know a number of small companies/startups willing to work but do not get any funding from VCs or from Govt..


Who won't be "willing to work" if funding is provided? If they have a track-record and have a business plan then VCs will arrive uninvited, vultures smell flesh from hundreds of kilometers away.

In India there are few fundamental problems (for example long lead time resolving legal issues) . If say L&T starts developing drones, a few years later the the talented team will leave with the IP and all and start their own outfit. Who will ensure swift justice to L&T? And justice delayed is justice denied.

Long way ahead for India to be a developed nation. At least with Modi we have stopped going in reverse.


I would suggest you talk to some of the people who are working in tech start-ups (real tech not some stupid recycled e-commerce website stuff) and see for yourself, what is the situation in India.

And why R&D over people leaving - Pvt company has all the freedom to do whatever it takes to retain talented people. Give anyone enough money and freedom and one would never leave the company. There is nothing unfair in leaving company, its the part and parcel of Capitalism.

rkhanna
BRFite
Posts: 935
Joined: 02 Jul 2006 02:35

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 08 Nov 2016 14:56

I work for a VC Firm that has done DD on 3 Indian Drone Start ups. Rejected 2 and am currently finalizing a termsheet for a third.

- Why did we reject the first 2?-

Tech was basic. Primarily COTS and assembly. (Tech Expertise was limited to Aerodynamic Fiberglass body building, COTS Software / Hardware integration). Minimal Encryption and Durability for Military Ops. Or way too many "influential people" on their advisory boards". Such as Ex bureaucrats. etc.

Nothing going to get into things like quality of founding team, track record, experience, etc etc

Few Points/ Observations.

NO VC will fund a company with a 100% revenue exposure to the Indian Armed Forces. / Government. Way too much corruption in the tendering process etc etc. Everybody loves drones today. The Commercial / Industrial market is way more juicy. and thats whats most people are angling at. Regulation ambiguity has made this avenue a big question mark for now?

JayS is correct to a degree. No Start-up founding team will let a strategic acquire them 100%. Most founders want to build businesses and dont want quick monetization or exits.

Strategics will buy a start-up with the enough legal and monetary clauses to ensure that the Founders have enough "skin in the Game" and the IP will remain in house for a substantial period of time. No Strategic is going to let a "founding team" leave that quickly. Have seen it happen number of times.

Secondly: Getting these "Big Players" such a Tata and Mahindra in invest/take over drone startups has not always proven to be the be the best experiment. 2 Case in point are Tata and Mahindra. Both have very large and substantial Cash Cow business and defence is simply NOT a priority for them. They simply (irrespective of the press releases) have bigger fish to fry and concentrate their resources. One of the drone start-ups even entered a tender with a large conglomerate Name (whitelabling themselves) and the tender failed because the conglomerate refused to bribe.

TATA bought a Drone Tech Start up after the Founders were unable to raise funding for additional prototypes. They have done ZIP with that tech and whatever they have is pretty substandard. L&T also bought a tech team - They are still struggling with their Fixed Wing last I heard.

Which are the companies that are succeeding in private Def Manufacturing? Companies where military production is an extension of core business competency (Kalyani, L&T, Shipyards). and Companies that have deep rooted Political ties (Ambani/pipavav).

Lastly - When it comes to Drones. The Israelis and Germans are willing to sell their previous gen Mini/Micro UAV drone tech to Indian manufacturers(for royalties) at throw away prices. The Cost advantage of Indian grown company is getting eroded. The Israelis and Germans come with their brand stamp that further de-risks the big guys atleast in perception

Rishi Verma
BRFite
Posts: 914
Joined: 28 Oct 2016 13:08

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rishi Verma » 08 Nov 2016 15:05

Excellent data points and real world stories from rkhanna. I would think drones have wider applications (worldwide) than military or gov. If the start-ups have a killer application and excel in handling it funding is possible. Chinese are making civilian drones by the millions.

rkhanna
BRFite
Posts: 935
Joined: 02 Jul 2006 02:35

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 08 Nov 2016 16:15

one other point. regarding SME's entering Def Manuf / Govt Tendering. First these companies put in money of their own (usually bootstrapped) to put build a prototype. IIM/IIT alum have the benefit of their incubation centers. Once they have prototypes built they then need money for testing / Demo to various Mil Commands.

Lets say after spending all this money they apply and WIN a tender. And lets say the tender is for 60 Drones. They have to put an x% of money with the Government as a Bank Guarantee (BG) so that to adhere to delivery timelines. This money they DO NOT HAVE. VC will not fund this money. Let say they even have the money for this BG they then need money for a production line. - VC will fund this (against a guaranteed order /cashflows) but a VC takes about 4-9 months to part with its money. Time the Winner of the tender doesnt have because his first batch of Drones is due to be delivered within 6 months. So its a catch 22. A Start up needs to be well funded to win a tender and deliver. But a VC will not fund a Startup till its won a tender


None the less I have seen some amazing tech and People in the space - Specially in Software, Payload and Back end Data/Image Analytics that will blow your mind. The future of this country is in good hands :)

Singha
Forum Moderator
Posts: 56342
Joined: 13 Aug 2004 19:42
Location: I stood eye to eye with The Beast and he told me everything...

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Singha » 08 Nov 2016 16:32

we need large reaper+ sized drones for corps and above level applications. this is where a huge gap exists.

I agree the small and medium drone needs can be met with local production or even trailing edge cheap designs from abroad as you mention.

Gyan
BRFite
Posts: 443
Joined: 26 Aug 2016 19:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Gyan » 08 Nov 2016 17:36

With 100% overweight airframe Rustom 2 with piston engines is dead. Only solution is to radical overhaul by use of turboprop engines rather than piston engines.

Indranil
Forum Moderator
Posts: 5191
Joined: 02 Apr 2010 01:21

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 09 Nov 2016 02:22

HAL has a dedicated department for UAV development now.

Alpha designs is ready to assemble Elbit's Hermes 900.

Tata is working with a myraid of companies. I think for the big ones it is tying up with Boeing. It already has stakes in the Piaggio's Hammerhead.

Kadet systems wanted to modify HAL's Hansa into a MALE.

JayS
BRFite
Posts: 1789
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JayS » 09 Nov 2016 02:54

rkhanna wrote:I work for a VC Firm that has done DD on 3 Indian Drone Start ups. Rejected 2 and am currently finalizing a termsheet for a third.

- Why did we reject the first 2?-

Tech was basic. Primarily COTS and assembly. (Tech Expertise was limited to Aerodynamic Fiberglass body building, COTS Software / Hardware integration). Minimal Encryption and Durability for Military Ops. Or way too many "influential people" on their advisory boards". Such as Ex bureaucrats. etc.

Nothing going to get into things like quality of founding team, track record, experience, etc etc

Few Points/ Observations.

NO VC will fund a company with a 100% revenue exposure to the Indian Armed Forces. / Government. Way too much corruption in the tendering process etc etc. Everybody loves drones today. The Commercial / Industrial market is way more juicy. and thats whats most people are angling at. Regulation ambiguity has made this avenue a big question mark for now?

JayS is correct to a degree. No Start-up founding team will let a strategic acquire them 100%. Most founders want to build businesses and dont want quick monetization or exits.

Strategics will buy a start-up with the enough legal and monetary clauses to ensure that the Founders have enough "skin in the Game" and the IP will remain in house for a substantial period of time. No Strategic is going to let a "founding team" leave that quickly. Have seen it happen number of times.

Secondly: Getting these "Big Players" such a Tata and Mahindra in invest/take over drone startups has not always proven to be the be the best experiment. 2 Case in point are Tata and Mahindra. Both have very large and substantial Cash Cow business and defence is simply NOT a priority for them. They simply (irrespective of the press releases) have bigger fish to fry and concentrate their resources. One of the drone start-ups even entered a tender with a large conglomerate Name (whitelabling themselves) and the tender failed because the conglomerate refused to bribe.

TATA bought a Drone Tech Start up after the Founders were unable to raise funding for additional prototypes. They have done ZIP with that tech and whatever they have is pretty substandard. L&T also bought a tech team - They are still struggling with their Fixed Wing last I heard.

Which are the companies that are succeeding in private Def Manufacturing? Companies where military production is an extension of core business competency (Kalyani, L&T, Shipyards). and Companies that have deep rooted Political ties (Ambani/pipavav).

Lastly - When it comes to Drones. The Israelis and Germans are willing to sell their previous gen Mini/Micro UAV drone tech to Indian manufacturers(for royalties) at throw away prices. The Cost advantage of Indian grown company is getting eroded. The Israelis and Germans come with their brand stamp that further de-risks the big guys atleast in perception


rkhanna wrote:one other point. regarding SME's entering Def Manuf / Govt Tendering. First these companies put in money of their own (usually bootstrapped) to put build a prototype. IIM/IIT alum have the benefit of their incubation centers. Once they have prototypes built they then need money for testing / Demo to various Mil Commands.

Lets say after spending all this money they apply and WIN a tender. And lets say the tender is for 60 Drones. They have to put an x% of money with the Government as a Bank Guarantee (BG) so that to adhere to delivery timelines. This money they DO NOT HAVE. VC will not fund this money. Let say they even have the money for this BG they then need money for a production line. - VC will fund this (against a guaranteed order /cashflows) but a VC takes about 4-9 months to part with its money. Time the Winner of the tender doesnt have because his first batch of Drones is due to be delivered within 6 months. So its a catch 22. A Start up needs to be well funded to win a tender and deliver. But a VC will not fund a Startup till its won a tender


None the less I have seen some amazing tech and People in the space - Specially in Software, Payload and Back end Data/Image Analytics that will blow your mind. The future of this country is in good hands :)


Great post. Always a pleasure to hear from people actually working on the ground.

Those ex-bureaucrats or Ex-service person, or "White Elephant" as we used to call them are essential if one wants get any govt contract. And as you pointed out due to ambiguity in regulations, commercial market is a non-starter.

MIl compatibility is an issue with most start-ups. But they do not have money (typically on a few lakh with bootstrapping) to fund development for mil-grade stuff as the HW is quite costly, and sometimes difficult to source. This is again a catch 22 situation. The way I see it is, such start ups could only take off if someone with deep pockets and some passion for tech, who is ready to invest in the Idea and would support for initial few years without much of an emphasize for revenue plan. Of coarse for big companies its not a big deal to invest few crores but they lack the temperament. Even for acquiring, they would more often than not look for a company which has already figured out the tech. That's why govt funding through reaserch grants are so much crucial for tech start-ups.

And the situation you explained in second post in bang on target. The company needs enough financial cushion to absorb all these shocks.

About the bolded part - have you came across any company from Pune, by any chance??

rkhanna
BRFite
Posts: 935
Joined: 02 Jul 2006 02:35

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 09 Nov 2016 11:25

"About the bolded part - have you came across any company from Pune, by any chance?"

Yes!


" That's why govt funding through reaserch grants are so much crucial for tech start-ups."

There is a special interest lobby group that is working with MOD and DRDO and saying set up incubation Centers in PPP mode. IP shared between Founder and DRDO with the Founder having the ability to export even if MOD dont give order (with ofcourse a restriction list).

i.e Set up R&D pipelines and compensate Founders with market valuations for their Equity. After a set amount of time the Govt must choose to roll the tech/companies into private hands.

JayS
BRFite
Posts: 1789
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JayS » 09 Nov 2016 15:55

rkhanna wrote:"About the bolded part - have you came across any company from Pune, by any chance?"

Yes!


A friend's company which fits the description. :mrgreen:

rkhanna wrote:" That's why govt funding through reaserch grants are so much crucial for tech start-ups."

There is a special interest lobby group that is working with MOD and DRDO and saying set up incubation Centers in PPP mode. IP shared between Founder and DRDO with the Founder having the ability to export even if MOD dont give order (with ofcourse a restriction list).

i.e Set up R&D pipelines and compensate Founders with market valuations for their Equity. After a set amount of time the Govt must choose to roll the tech/companies into private hands.


A new fund of 1000Cr is set up by GOI. Dunno how much its useful for UAV developers.

Karthik S
BRFite
Posts: 1724
Joined: 18 Sep 2009 12:12

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Karthik S » 12 Nov 2016 21:55

http://swarajyamag.com/insta/india-set- ... rom-the-us

India Set To Acquire 100 Armed Avenger Drones From The US

JTull
BRFite
Posts: 1868
Joined: 18 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JTull » 14 Nov 2016 03:55

Apparently, Rustom-2 flight coming soon. Anantha Krishnan had tweet on the subject

Rammpal
BRFite
Posts: 290
Joined: 23 Sep 2016 12:21

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rammpal » 14 Nov 2016 08:35

http://www.aerospacemanufacturinganddes ... nes-power/

"" The small turbines, which rotate at speeds up to 227,500rpm, can run on heavy fuels or natural gas..."

Likely based on COTS turbo.

Indranil
Forum Moderator
Posts: 5191
Joined: 02 Apr 2010 01:21

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 15 Nov 2016 00:44

Rammpal wrote:"" The small turbines, which rotate at speeds up to 227,500rpm, can run on heavy fuels or natural gas..."

Likely based on COTS turbo.

Those two lines cannot be simultaneously true.

Rammpal
BRFite
Posts: 290
Joined: 23 Sep 2016 12:21

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rammpal » 15 Nov 2016 05:36

Indranil wrote:
Rammpal wrote:"" The small turbines, which rotate at speeds up to 227,500rpm, can run on heavy fuels or natural gas..."

Likely based on COTS turbo.

Those two lines cannot be simultaneously true.


Run on NG, easy.
Heavy fuel - yes, suspect,
Doable with clever re-design of combustion System.

Speed is a non-issue, as even higher speed electric machines are already available - COTS, one example i.e.:

http://www.celeroton.com/en/products/motors.html .

Also, turbo and generator can be pneumatically coupled too, with a slight loss of overall efficiency.

Manish_P
BRFite
Posts: 562
Joined: 25 Mar 2010 17:34

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Manish_P » 15 Nov 2016 15:53

Karthik S wrote:http://swarajyamag.com/insta/india-set-to-acquire-100-armed-avenger-drones-from-the-us

India Set To Acquire 100 Armed Avenger Drones From The US


A not so flattering article on the avenger here

However the article is over a year old and the issues (?) were said to be encountered even earlier... perhaps a lot has changed for the better since then.

Some points in the article quoted :

In April 2009 General Atomics—the California-based manufacturer of the Predator drone—debuted a new and improved, jet-powered version of the iconic robot warplane. But for all its improvements, the Predator C—or Avenger—fell flat with its biggest prospective client, the U.S. Air Force. The flying branch’s Air Combat Command recounted the chilly rejection in its official history for 2011, a copy of which War Is Boring obtained via the Freedom of Information Act.


The satellite-controlled Avenger is faster, stealthier and carries more weaponry than the earlier, propeller-driven MQ-9 Predator B model, also known by its nickname Reaper. The Reaper is currently the U.S. Air Force’s main armed drone, but in its standard version it suffers the same inadequacies that plague the original, 1990s-vintage MQ-1 Predator A. It can’t fly in bad weather and its satellite-relayed control signal tends to lag, which can cause crashes when operators sitting in trailers in the U.S. can’t respond fast enough to problems. It’s also possible to hack the Reaper’s video stream … and jam its GPS.

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4949
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 15 Nov 2016 16:31

I'm willing to take a wild guess that the current fleet is operated by the CIA or by the USAF in support of CIA missions. There was only one type of armed, stealthy/semi-stealthy strike drone requirement within the USAF and that required the ability to fly into highly contested environments and still perform with a reasonably high confidence despite efforts to disrupt the aircraft's flight performance, data-links, SATCOM etc etc.

There is no way you can get that out of this price point or this family of systems. What the USAF got out of those efforts was essentially an optionally manned B-21 further down the road and the RQ-180 which isn't expected to do strike. The former will of course be primarily a manned bomber with the latter most likely being ISR focused but its safe to assume at a price point that is a multiple of what the Avenger family costs.

David Axe has a long history of reading reports that are by their very nature are dated and transient and assuming that the facts stated within them are universally applicable forever. He had been regurgitating historic DOT&E reports on the F-18E/F and F-35 long after subsequent DOT&E reports claimed those same issues from he earlier reports were either under control or completely solved.

GA developed the Predator-C based on their own requirements and perhaps those of the CIA...There were no requirements that we know of from the USAF to improve X Y Z compared to the Predator. Needless to say if those require improvement GA will no doubt be given funding to do so. Similarly, if an outside customer wants those things improved then GA will do so and charge them for it. Much the same way the Predator's have evolved.

At the moment the USAF does not require a drone in the Predator-C class so any improvement you see GA perform on the aircraft are their own internal investments and therefore you would not see these changes or their affect on the overall capability be reflected in any official USAF report. Having said that, I'm highly skeptical of the 100 UAV deal being primarily for the C-variant.

Manish_P
BRFite
Posts: 562
Joined: 25 Mar 2010 17:34

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Manish_P » 15 Nov 2016 16:47

I tend to agree with your points

However w.r.t Indian requirements, unlike the USA, we do not have the luxury to assume that the airspace will be uncontested (on both flanks)

Not unless we have dominant stealth (or regular) air and/or land power knocking out the enemy air and ground defences first, the resultant total air superiority then allowing for freedom of uncontested UAV operations

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4949
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 15 Nov 2016 16:55

However w.r.t Indian requirements, unlike the USA, we do not have the luxury to assume that the airspace will be uncontested (on both flanks)


There are limits to where the Avenger can go. Its more survivable compared to the other variants in its family but it is by no means a stealthy penetrating attack drone capable of doing those sort of missions. That would be something the J-UCAS was developing and would not be within the scope of this aircraft. I don't think anyone will confuse this aircraft with that. This gets you into areas where the Predator would struggle to go, and would get you there at a higher altitude, faster speed and with a larger, and more diverse payload. That's about it. It naturally retains high commonality with other systems within the family to keep costs low. If you want a more survivable and more flexible Predator, you can buy an Avenger. If you want something that looks and does what the J-UCAS, or FCAS are/were supposed to do, you don't even consider it.

In fact if the USAF ever seriously considers the Avenger, it won't be for its survivability or the ability to perform better in contested environments. It would be for its ability to house the MS-177 and similar payload, and future land-attack directed energy payloads, particularly the HELLADS program the DOD has been working closely with GA. They have had the Predator-C proposed to house a version of this DEW on a few occasions and it remains an unfunded priority.

Predator C Avenger Flies With MS-177 Long-Range Sensor

http://www.uasvision.com/wp-content/upl ... ED-C-2.jpg

Image

Image

Manish_P
BRFite
Posts: 562
Joined: 25 Mar 2010 17:34

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Manish_P » 15 Nov 2016 17:09

If you want a more survivable and more flexible Predator, you can buy an Avenger.


IMVHO that is a very (if not the most) critical point.

How much more survivability and flexibility does the Avenger give over the Predator/Reapor... considering our dear neighbours (both to the west and the east) capabilites AND at what costs

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4949
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 15 Nov 2016 17:27

How much more survivability and flexibility does the Avenger give over the Predator/Reapor... considering our dear neighbours (both to the west and the east) capabilites AND at what costs


That would really depend upon what you ask for in it, and of course since it is a GA product, and the last few upgrades are currently company funded there is really no official USAF assessment to go by to figure this out. The IAF would naturally do their system analysis to see which variant fits into their mission needs the best if indeed all this talk of the Predator family is accurate.

Not being a contested airspace penetrating system doesn't mean it can't perform in contested environment, it just means that it will have to do so in conjunction with SEAD/DEAD efforts.

rohiths
BRFite
Posts: 372
Joined: 26 Jun 2009 21:51

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rohiths » 15 Nov 2016 18:25

If we get the Avenger it will be a diplomatic breakthrough. It is an amazing platform with excellent stealth characteristics and we can take out terrorists in pakistan at will. Although I don't think USA will sell us any drones any time soon

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4949
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 15 Nov 2016 18:42

rohiths wrote:If we get the Avenger it will be a diplomatic breakthrough. It is an amazing platform with excellent stealth characteristics and we can take out terrorists in pakistan at will. Although I don't think USA will sell us any drones any time soon


Perhaps I'm not seeing what you are. I'm just seeing modest RCS reduction work on the Predator family to enhance its survivability. Compared to what is possible now, or what was possible even a decade or two ago, it still falls short in terms of the ability to be hard to target.

Stealthy unmanned design of the mid-late 1990's -

Image

And of the early 2000's -

Image

rohiths
BRFite
Posts: 372
Joined: 26 Jun 2009 21:51

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rohiths » 15 Nov 2016 18:58

^^It may not be the stealthiest US drone but definitely enough for Pakis. My guess is that the RCS would be less than 0.1sq m

brar_w
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4949
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 15 Nov 2016 20:13

What is 'definitely' enough in this context? This isn't a penetrating strike aircraft when pitted against even a half decent integrated air defense system (RCS alone does not get you there). It is however an asset and higher capability when you factor in other IAD suppressing missions that the IAF could bring to bear. Again, if you want to go deep inside PAK territory you would have to defeat whatever surface launched threats they have and plus also deal with aerial threats. This UAV can't deal with all of that. If you want a loiter system that can hang around while you fight the contested air defenses then this will help since it has lower RCS, flies higher and faster than the rest of the Predator family and pretty much any other off the shelf option available at the moment.


sum
BRF Oldie
Posts: 9199
Joined: 08 May 2007 17:04
Location: (IT-vity && DRDO) nagar

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby sum » 16 Nov 2016 05:56

^^ Matches what Chai wallahs had mentioned a year back about Rustom-2 being on the chopping block and real desperation being shown by ADE to avoid the fate.

However, it was mentioned that it had been given last chance and some time till mid of this year to demonstrate something or else face the can. Looks like ADE managed to extend it till year end but need to see if they can pull it off ( chaiwallahs were very pessimistic on this though due to severe techincal difficulties and the terrible reputation earned by the ADE designed Nishant in IA service :( :( )

nachiket
BRF Oldie
Posts: 5703
Joined: 02 Dec 2008 10:49
Location: Соединенные Штаты Америки

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby nachiket » 16 Nov 2016 06:21

I wonder if DRDO would have been better off trying to build something around the same size and weight as the original MQ-1 Predator or the old Heron (not Eitan). The Rustom II's empty weight seems to be 800kg more than the MTOW of the Predator if wiki is right, naturally requiring at least twice the power. Maybe they should have first concentrated on developing the Rustom I into something more than a TD. Or perhaps a new design using a single Lycoming engine (same one as on the Rustom I) but better able to accommodate mission avionics etc.

Sid
BRFite
Posts: 1445
Joined: 19 Mar 2006 13:26

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Sid » 16 Nov 2016 06:31

Those engine boxes on Rustom-2 are painful to see.

Just like Rustom 1, was there any commercial airframe they could have leveraged to fast track the program?

Bart S
BRFite
Posts: 502
Joined: 15 Aug 2016 00:03

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Bart S » 16 Nov 2016 06:50

Manish_P wrote:
If you want a more survivable and more flexible Predator, you can buy an Avenger.


IMVHO that is a very (if not the most) critical point.

How much more survivability and flexibility does the Avenger give over the Predator/Reapor... considering our dear neighbours (both to the west and the east) capabilites AND at what costs


We probably need a hi-lo mix, and likely medium and ultra-low options as well. Not all of this is for wartime or going into contested airspace. We have a massive meed for drones with good endurance and advanced sensors such as FLIR to just monitor major swathes of land along the western border, South Kashmir mountains, Maoist infested territories and some areas in the Northeast. And we need all this in peacetime, ideally without having to pay a premium on every one of those drones for self defence features that we will rarely use.

Manish_P
BRFite
Posts: 562
Joined: 25 Mar 2010 17:34

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Manish_P » 16 Nov 2016 08:56

And seas

If I am not mistaken the initial request for the drones were for use by the Indian Navy.

For covering the vast maritime borders and the island chains

Venu
BRFite
Posts: 155
Joined: 26 Oct 2009 17:23
Location: rimbola..rimbola

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Venu » 16 Nov 2016 10:09

Anantha Krishna(tarmak007 fame) says that Rustom2 made its successful first flight. God Speed!

A photo or video would be icing on the cake.

Pratyush
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7114
Joined: 05 Mar 2010 15:13

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Pratyush » 16 Nov 2016 10:28

With impending predator purchase, the rustom becomes just another science project.

Aditya_V
BRF Oldie
Posts: 8636
Joined: 05 Apr 2006 16:25

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Aditya_V » 16 Nov 2016 10:39

Pratyush wrote:With impending predator purchase, the rustom becomes just another science project.


Not really, we will need numbers in the future, from providing imagery for LOC artillery duels to suicide missions on decapitation attacks to battlefield reconnaissance. We will need more and varied numbers of Drones , a few dozen predators is a stop gap arrangement.

rohiths
BRFite
Posts: 372
Joined: 26 Jun 2009 21:51

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rohiths » 16 Nov 2016 10:52

Pratyush wrote:With impending predator purchase, the rustom becomes just another science project.

I don't think US will sell the Reaper or Avenger version to us. Best case we can get the MQ-1 Predator version. None of the European countries have offered drones to us. Russia does not have anything worth buying. We have already purchased from Israel. Looks like drones are import proof for the next 5 years

JTull
BRFite
Posts: 1868
Joined: 18 Jul 2001 11:31

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JTull » 16 Nov 2016 14:06

DRDO's combat drone Rustom-2 flies for the first time

BENGALURU: After a considerable delay, Rustom-2, India's long endurance Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) finally completed its first flight early on Tuesday in Challakere, about 200km from Bengaluru.

The UCAV, which is in the medium-altitude, long endurance (MALE) category of vehicles, sources in the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) which developed the vehicle, said "met all the expectations" during the first flight.

First scheduled in late 2013, the three-year delay of the first flight had only added to the timeline, which is punctuated by other delays during development- even as the Indian armed forces are increasingly looking outside the country for combat drones with deals already struck with Israeli firms.

Rustom-2, the developers, however, claim will be an aircraft unlike any other UAV in the ranks of our forces. It has a wingspan of more than 20m and an endurance of 24-30 hours.

Equipped with contemporary technology, it will need a runway to takeoff and land unlike traditional UAVs, which makes it more trustworthy. Compared to Rustom-I, the advanced version will have enhanced aerodynamic configuration, digital flight control and navigation system.

"Besides, it will also have automatic takeoff and landing capabilities, this version of Rustom is comparable to some of the best in the world," sources in ADE said.

While the ADE hopes to bag orders from all the three wings of the armed forces— army, navy and the air force— its ability to stick to deadlines and also give a good quality platform will be key. The Indian army, which had inducted DRDO's earlier UAV Nishanth, had to face several crashes and is contemplating junking it with no fresh induction planned.

Pratyush
BRF Oldie
Posts: 7114
Joined: 05 Mar 2010 15:13

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Pratyush » 16 Nov 2016 14:17

How can you say that it will not be repeat of Arjun and T 90 situation. When the rustom has not even passed flight test.

rohiths
BRFite
Posts: 372
Joined: 26 Jun 2009 21:51

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rohiths » 16 Nov 2016 15:35

Pratyush wrote:How can you say that it will not be repeat of Arjun and T 90 situation. When the rustom has not even passed flight test.

It may well happen but atleast we have the capability of building a good drone. I wish we had not signed the MTCR.

prashanth
BRFite
Posts: 511
Joined: 04 Sep 2007 16:50
Location: Barad- dyr

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby prashanth » 16 Nov 2016 16:25

Combat Drone Rustom-2 Completes Maiden Flight

This link has a picture of Rustom 2 on a runway. Not sure whether it is genuine. LD pod shown in models is missing.
Last edited by prashanth on 16 Nov 2016 16:45, edited 1 time in total.

JayS
BRFite
Posts: 1789
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 06:14

Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JayS » 16 Nov 2016 16:35

Such projects should have been given to private companies ideally those small start-ups with some really motivated kids. GOI could have given few crores each to 2-3 teams and ask them to fly prototypes.


Return to “Military Issues & History Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bheeshma, JayS, K_Rohit, tushar_m and 30 guests