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UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vasu raya » 20 Feb 2017 23:11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8Mr9sET-Xc

The Israeli VTOL air ambulance in news, its data sheet talks about two 1.8m rotors lifting some 1500kg, if they are arranged as contra rotating rotors, they could lift as much, be it a chopper airframe or a vertically aligned Nirbhay sized airframe

As a tech progression they could move from chetak to Ka-226 to miniaturization leading to swarm strategies deployed from a Naval ship

Japan's Mazda has a >400hp Wankel engine for automobile applications

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Picklu » 21 Feb 2017 00:38

Singha wrote:the TAMP frame looks like a joke with those huge crude metal pipes...the thrust will go in lifting itself alone ...who comes up with these designs ? even cheap 5000/= quadcopters have better designs ..and that metal box on top ugh *shudder*

it looks like a 8th semester student project made out of whatever resources the mech deptt had , not a state agency product


I somehow like the muscular KTM Duke look though.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Austin » 22 Feb 2017 13:40

From DRDO Chief Interview

What is the update on the UAV programme?


Design of Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) Ghatak is coming up very well. The dry engine of the Kaveri will power Ghatak. The second aspect is stealth. If you look at the shaping of the existing UCAV like B2 it is designed in such a way that it deflects the energy and can remain undetected. The coating on the UCAV only amounts to 20 per cent of the stealth.

I have given ADA time till April to produce a life-size model of UCAV (fully metallic, without any coating for RCS reduction) and measure its RCS (Radar Cross Section) to understand its detection range. RCS reduction and painting will simultaneously proceed thereafter. As far as the electronics part is concerned, if all payloads of Rustom UAV are certified, we will use them as it is in Ghatak programme. We will know the acceptance on the Rustom payloads by next year
.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby enaiel » 23 Feb 2017 22:36

Not sure if this was posted before:

India’s Ghatak Stealth UCAV Moves Forward

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rakesh » 28 Feb 2017 00:48

India investing heavily to develop indigenous Unmanned Combat Systems
http://www.defencenews.in/article.aspx?id=250714

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby SaiK » 02 Mar 2017 10:02


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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rakesh » 04 Mar 2017 22:23

US senators push for sale of guardian drones to India
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... 440780.cms

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby ashishvikas » 07 Mar 2017 20:54

EXCLUSIVE: India’s Ghatak Stealth UCAV Moves Forward, Likely With Dassault

https://twitter.com/livefist/status/839037523607322624

http://www.livefistdefence.com/2017/02/ ... rward.html

UPDATE / 7 MARCH: Livefist can now confirm that a metal full-scale model of the Ghatak is currently under fabrication by a private firm in Bengaluru in coordination with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA).

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby ashishvikas » 07 Mar 2017 21:12

@Saurav Jha:

ADE expects three new Rustom-2 / Tapas 201 UAV prototypes to fly this year. There will be one Army, one Navy & one Air force version.

The Indian Army may have issued a RPF for about two dozen Rustom-I units.

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/839137209227874305

https://twitter.com/SJha1618/status/839135260214427648

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rakesh » 08 Mar 2017 05:46

India’s Ghatak Stealth UCAV Moves Forward, Likely With Dassault
http://www.livefistdefence.com/2017/02/ ... rward.html

UPDATE / 7 MARCH: Livefist can now confirm that a metal full-scale model of the Ghatak is currently under fabrication by a private firm in Bengaluru in coordination with the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA). The exercise was ordered late last year by DRDO chief Dr S. Christopher. The full-scale model will look to serve two preliminary purposes: gauge detection range and ‘dry’ radar cross section, i.e., prior to the application of in-development advanced low-observability/RCS reduction features and/or special coatings. Livefist has also learnt that the DRDO and Dassault Aviation are in detailed discussions on the utilisation of part of the latter’s offset commitments from the Rafale deal to bring advanced technologies and software (some of it from the nEUROn programme) to the Ghatak project and help speed things up till the full-scale engineering & design (FSED) phase. Teams from Dassault and ADA have met twice, with a third engagement likely in May this year. A team from ADA has also been invited to France to get a closer look at Dassault’s work in the UCAV space centred around the nEUROn programme.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Rakesh » 09 Mar 2017 21:48

As you've read in recent Livefist reports, an important official update
on India's Ghatak stealth UCAV programme & Kaveri 'dry' engine.
https://twitter.com/livefist/status/839830454031220737

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 16 Mar 2017 04:14

Even if Rustom/Tapas fails, it is a HUGE learning curve.



Biggest takeaways.
1. Tapas 201 is a prototype. They will go for the twin-boom single engine layout moving on.
2. One size fits all is impossible. They have to come up with horses for courses. Very accurately put forward reasons
3. AUW is currently 2800 kg. They want to reduce the weight by 280 kgs.
4. They will move from a safety factor of 1.5 to 1.25 to bring down the AUW in the next version.
5. First users of Gagan for semi-autonomous takeoff and landing. Full ATOL in development using Gagan, laser and I forgot a third system.

I am very happy with this new leader and team. They can do it. Give them the required funds and time.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Austin » 21 Mar 2017 20:17

Project to develop unmanned variant of Tejas planes in works

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/art ... 741657.cms

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 21 Mar 2017 20:37

HAL has gone crazy. It is fine to provide youngsters with a say. But there should be some hand holding. Tejas UCAV for high risk strike role!!! What are cruise missiles for? Please concentrate on getting MK1A ready in time.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby uddu » 21 Mar 2017 21:04

Let them try it out. Nothing wrong with that. Let the Tejas fly in the thousands in manned and unmanned configuration all across the world.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Singha » 21 Mar 2017 21:13

the control system and comms links / base stations developed would surely help Aura and other uav projects. as it stands we are making heavy weather of rustom2 which is a relatively simple uav. if HAL can develop some successful building blocks it will help all projects.

amrika has 100s of POC projects that are never productionized or that never even reach POC stage. that builds the data banks and skills of engineering so when the time comes they can cobble together some solution like they usually do with new radars and missiles - they have a lot of blocks ready to go.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Sid » 21 Mar 2017 21:25

Right, but those 100s of POCs are managed by 1000s of contractors and subcontractors with ample funding. This is not the case with HAL or India.

But in this case HAL will move their core tech people from one project to another, which will impact both projects.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby NRao » 21 Mar 2017 21:34

amrika has 100s of POC projects that are never productionized or that never even reach POC stage. that builds the data banks and skills of engineering so when the time comes they can cobble together some solution like they usually do with new radars and missiles - they have a lot of blocks ready to go.


That is the "culture" I have mentioned before - one of risk. It is naturally present in amrika. In the talk Dr. Saraswat gave, at AI 17, he mentions "risk" as a factor in India.

Good to see similar trends in India, it (risk) is an absolute must - on a side note, seems like TSR is one person who is leading this effort (HTT-40, farming the LCA to pvt companies, etc).


However, the MK1A needs to be delivered ASAP, earlier the better. On that front heard that the cooling of the radar is proving to be a major challenge in accommodating it in the LCA. Believe that teh current radar is air cooled (??), while the AESA will be liquid cooled and therefore needs a good deal of re-plumbing.

Right, but those 100s of POCs are managed by 1000s of contractors and subcontractors with ample funding


It took a very, very long time to get there though. As an example the Kettering bug was teh forerunner of the cruise missile - in ................ 1918!!!!

What we "see" today is the result of umpteen failures - something to the tune of 80%+.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby PratikDas » 21 Mar 2017 22:16

Indranil wrote:HAL has gone crazy. It is fine to provide youngsters with a say. But there should be some hand holding. Tejas UCAV for high risk strike role!!! What are cruise missiles for? Please concentrate on getting MK1A ready in time.

I have a theory. With the low tolerance to accidents of risk-averse SDREs, one way to de-risk Kaveri on LCA might be for the LCA to be unmanned. So an unmanned LCA, with the F404 to begin with, might never see mass production but serve as a necessary platform for engine testing in the Indian context. In other words, the C in UCAV might only be marketing in this case.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Indranil » 22 Mar 2017 00:30

Don't listen to Livefist for technical analysis! Why would the C-laws require change :D . All they would need is limit the envelop. Anike missionsd why would the structure need changes?!!! They would remove some LRUs required for supporting the pilot and add fuel/new avionics. They will make sure that no structural changes need to be made and the CG is not displaced by much. To give you an example, did they need to make structural changes going from NP1 to NP2?

Yes, avionics and autopilot elements will have to be removed. I don't know if they want to retain the radar!

If they HAVE to make use of high performance airframes for UCAVs, convert those retired Mig-21s. $ 50 million UCAV with low endurance and low stealth makes zero sense to me. I would have been very happy if HAL said that we are going to make an UCAV using as many LCA parts as possible. It will be a tube+wings. It will be able to carry A2A missiles only, 15 G capable, with an endurance of 2-3 hours on internal fuel. It can be done. The problem is maintaining a high bandwidth connection to this platform at all times. HAL will have to push state-of-art there. But hey, that would light some fires. Changing an LCA to an unmanned aircraft for high risk strike missions doesn't make much sense to me.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2017 07:39

Making a safe FBW system for a manned aircraft demands the creation of control laws that either ease the life of the pilot or prevent the pilot from exceeding certain limits. But that does not make the pilot jobless. So making a UAV out of a manned aircraft may not be that trivial because it must have the pilot's sensors and self preservation intent. For example the plane, landing in Bengaluru must lower its landing gear and prepare to land while flying 900 meters above sea level. Also Bellandur lake and HAL airport are at the same altitude, both are flat and still; but all pilots choose the airport over the lake to land. So the plane must also choose airstrip over road or lake.

In the 1960s the Russians used their older jet aircraft as targets for Atoll (K-13) missiles and the same were used by Indian pilots training in Russia to use K-13s. The planes IIRC were simply allowed to crash if the missile missed. Since no planes crashed after the Indian pilots tested missiles it was assumed that the missiles hit the target. Of course launching the missile itself required much drama - including getting ready to restart the engine in case it packed up from missile plume ingestion and also banking away after launch. Sorry to digress, but any automatic flight control system for a manned plane converted to UCAV will have to take this sort of tamasha, normally performed by the pilot, into account.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby NRao » 22 Mar 2017 07:54

Shiv,

ILS has been around for decades https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland. Civilians planes have the ability to land by themselves, and can even apply breaks, etc. Depends on the techs at an airport. The crafts have the features. I thought the MKI had this feature.

Converting the LCA to an pilotless system could also mean still having a man in the loop, just not on the craft itself.

I like the fact that HAL or whoever is going in multiple directions. Seems to me that they are growing their team way beyond the normal group. "Tamasha" can and should lead to progress in much needed techs and great experience IMHO. As long as they can manage the finances I would support such efforts. I think this is the best alt use of the LCA.

The article mentioned F-16 conversion. They are used as targets, do not think for combat IIRC.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2017 08:19

NRao wrote:Shiv,
ILS has been around for decades... Depends on the techs at an airport.

This is the problem. I need to check this but ILS does not mean landing without vision. It means approach to a very close/low level after which vision is needed. There are several categories and beyond a point even ILS is declared not possible and planes are diverted. But an airport with ILS can allow autoland in suitably equipped aircraft. Google tells me that even autoland finally requires a pilot after landing.

Having a man in the loop means communication with the plane which again is not trivial depending on the location of the man in the loop and the plane.

All I am saying is that "FBW control laws" per se do not make the conversion of plane to UAV trivial. But LCA is definitely our best bet in this regard

I am less sure about a MiG 21 being made unmanned. I guess a completely automated system is possible to allow takeoff, heading in a particular direction and some basic manoeuvres and self destruct if it does something unsafe.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby srai » 22 Mar 2017 10:54

Indranil wrote:HAL has gone crazy. It is fine to provide youngsters with a say. But there should be some hand holding. Tejas UCAV for high risk strike role!!! What are cruise missiles for? Please concentrate on getting MK1A ready in time.


I would imagine there is a lot of collaboration going on between ADA, ADE, GTRE and HAL. It maybe a stepping stone into the Ghatak Stealth UCAV. LCA UCAV is a lot closer possibility than a new 5th-Gen+ UCAV at this point in time. Lots of unmanned requirements could be proven on on the LCA UCAV. Those will then be applied to the futuristic Ghatak, which seems to be at least 20-years away.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Neshant » 22 Mar 2017 11:27

Unmanned LCA as a project does not sound practical.
If they want to build a UCAV, start with a clean design that is low cost, not an expensive manned combat aircraft conversion hack.

HAL is low on skilled manpower and has not completed the manned LCA, yet is diverting efforts towards the above.
Not good.

Someone needs to remind them what their priorities are.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby NRao » 22 Mar 2017 13:44

Shiv,

UAVs, UCAVs, etc fly out of dedicated facilities, under highly, highly controlled situations. However, even under dire circumstances, they can risk losing one such platform, if absolutely need be.

A few observations.

This project is under HAL and therefore TSR, the same person who spent his own funds to sponsor the HTT-40. So, I assume, he knows what he is doing. So far, all he has done is to commission a mear study. Granted he is confident of its success. It is under a separate and dedicated team, that can be disbanded, if such a need arises. For the time being, at least, I cannot see a conflict with any other project (not that I know much about them), especially with the MK1A.

He also claims that they can convert the Chetak helo too (to unmanned)!!!! More power to them.

Now all that needs to happen: deliver the MK2A next year and hold the feet of Safran to the fire for delivery of a 90 kN Kaveri , mated to the LCA, by 2020. TSR is on the hook for the prior. Better deliver. #1 priority.



But, I love this trend. Now only if the PMO can release funds for the AMCA.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Singha » 22 Mar 2017 14:16

see the idea most bang for buck, not a F-solah to produce in lakhs

for Chetak and Tejas unmanned, everything is there except the 360 cameras, communication system and base station. there is no change needed to FCS, engine, sensors, fuel system the most complex parts. the ejection seat can be replaced with the additional electronic box and the joystick and throttle removed. they can adjust the throttle to cut out afterburner setting. this is in reach of lesser powers like iran or north korea.

so its a low hanging fruit which will give people some exposure. how long will we let the israelis rape us over a barrel on the UAV front ? all our Rudra, LCH, Su30, Tejas, Do228 use expensive imported israeli Optronic payloads like AMOSP, Litening, etc etc we are reduced to even importing simple searcher and heron type drones and begging bowl is already out for eitan I expect.

to rub some salt into wound even our ground based Lorros and TI sights are israeli

even if its just a POC and totally useless (watch for IAF denouncement soon) what is the loss? a few lakhs here and there are rounding errors vs giving people interesting work and platform...to "fail safely" if they have to , before being put on "live customer" projects

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2017 15:02

What would be the mode of communication (if any) for an Indian UAV 300 km from base? I presume a UAV will have enough built in autonomy to turn and start returning to base in case communication is lost (for a preset maximum time limit) but I am just curious about what the mode of communication would be.

I guess that Reaper operators link via satellite and perhaps a circling AWACS in the region?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Viv S » 22 Mar 2017 15:12

shiv wrote:What would be the mode of communication (if any) for an Indian UAV 300 km from base? I presume a UAV will have enough built in autonomy to turn and start returning to base in case communication is lost (for a preset maximum time limit) but I am just curious about what the mode of communication would be.

Ku-band SATCOM/DL.

I guess that Reaper operators link via satellite and perhaps a circling AWACS in the region?

Satcom. Will be piloted by an operator based in Nevada.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Singha » 22 Mar 2017 15:21

the cockpit bulge area in uav hides the satcom dish. same can be done for tejas canopy

one area we need to master is automatic takeoff and landing in any weather, day or night, like the global hawk does.

lot of question answered here
http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stor ... rnization/

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Prasad » 22 Mar 2017 15:59

Singha wrote:the cockpit bulge area in uav hides the satcom dish. same can be done for tejas canopy

one area we need to master is automatic takeoff and landing in any weather, day or night, like the global hawk does.

lot of question answered here
http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stor ... rnization/

LCA Navy program is doing that.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby tsarkar » 22 Mar 2017 16:33

Viv S wrote:
shiv wrote:What would be the mode of communication (if any) for an Indian UAV 300 km from base? I presume a UAV will have enough built in autonomy to turn and start returning to base in case communication is lost (for a preset maximum time limit) but I am just curious about what the mode of communication would be.

Ku-band SATCOM/DL.

I guess that Reaper operators link via satellite and perhaps a circling AWACS in the region?

Satcom. Will be piloted by an operator based in Nevada.


Anyone beyond insurgents, like Iran for example, can measure and thereafter initiate deceptive jamming that brought down the US drone. Bandwidth and interference will be fiendishly complex to manage for multiple UAV operating in denied environments. Which is why UAV operations are still in permissive environments.

Why cant they just focus energies on MK1A development, production ramp up & logistics chain establishment?

25 Tejas production is very badly needed to ramp up squadron strength with logistics support.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 22 Mar 2017 17:28

I see no need to go gaga over this UCAV efforts on LCA. This is mere Feasibility study. There will be some time before they will start on this if at all they start on this.

But I am surprized by the amount of negative comments on this kind of efforts. We bash HAL when they don't do something, we bash HAL when they try to do something. There is no evidence to suggest HAL would be diverting money and resources from MK1A project to run this project. HAL is quite a big organisation. Its not gonna be too difficult for them to have a small team working on it in some shed for few years, without having any effect on any other project whatsoever. What we need precisely is this kind of lateral thinking. Unless we have multiple things worked on parallel, we will always be playing catch-up game and be stuck in 5th/6th Nation syndrome. If HAL is being proactive in doing something new on its own, its great. If they do it now, 20yrs hence we will not be launching an ab initio efforts on similar concept. Imagine, if we can successfully convert manned aircraft to UCAV's in say next 15-20yrs, even with limited capacity, we could potentially convert all of our retiring force (at least M2K and Su-30MKI) into something useful at the end of their manned version life. Its a TD program and it is to be done precisely to find answers/solutions to questions such as how to deal with Datalinks in various scenarios or even to uncover such questions in our own context.

The "Artificial Pilot", If I may, will be a generic computer program which could be used to any fly any aircraft, when you interface it with the FCS. It will take probably next 50yrs to come up with a reliable "Artificial Pilot" for the us, but we need to start today. One for Helicopters is already in pipeline through RUV project. This could be another one for fighters. There would be a lot of cross pollination between this kind of project and UCAV like Ghatak and UAVs like Rustom-2. Multiple teams working on multiple projects give us multiple opportunities to cover the technology gap with the rest of the world. We should be kick-starting work on beyond-AMCA work right now unless we want to again be in the same position vis-à-vis other nations after say 2050. This could just be one of that sorts. I, for one, am very happy to see this proposal.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby tsarkar » 22 Mar 2017 17:55

^^ I disagree, Jay

Is not about money but about manpower. It takes between 5-10 years to get a proficient & experienced engineer. Diverting experienced engineers will seriously handicap productionizing Tejas, HTT-40, LCH & LUH

Secondly, Tejas CLAW was developed by NAL National Control Law Team. Tejas was a multi-disciplinary multi agency development effort. For HAL to build all those competencies will take years.

And while ADA was the nodal agency coordinating effort, for HAL to define and divide workshare with all the agencies and subcontractors will require a complex management structure not present today.

The manpower is better used in existing projects - that are not out of the woods yet - and the administrative hassle is not worth it. We do have a UCAV program in place that will reuse existing knowledge and technologies. No need for a parallel program eating into resources.

Instead of focussing on its core function of production, HAL does not need to get into a turf war with ADA.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby tsarkar » 22 Mar 2017 17:59

JayS wrote:
Sid wrote:
<OT>
I was under the impression that mission computer on Su is Indian made, similar to LCA (MC-486 and DP-30MK by DARE). That's why we were able to plug Astra/Brahmos on MKI without Russian assistance. Which theoretically should allow us to integrate our own radar on MKI and should speedup development of Uttam without all bottlenecks.
</OT>

Although I do agree that LRDE should have their own airborne platform for flight testing and qualifications.


No Ji for me please. I am just a nanha mujahidin.

HAL could definitely integrate Uttam with Su-30, but it will take time and resources. This is not really an HAL project. And there is no Spare Su-30 that can be used for this work, unless IAF donates one for this purpose. Whereas LCA has a bunch of LSPs now which will be available post FOC. And the interfaces are already done as per LCA requirements. So it makes all the sense to just go with LCA. Had there been a gap of 2-3yrs between Uttam's readiness for flight testing and availability of LCA, then it might have made sense to put extra efforts on putting it on Su-30 IMO.

GOI could just order 1-2 Su-30 from HAL which can be used as fighter test beds may be.


There are atleast two Su-30 test beds with ASTE used for BrahMos, Astra, SIVA HADP, ECM & MAWS development. Entire ASTE fleet are test beds.

I speculate Uttam is built to Western Interface & Electrical Power standards for LCA. Later a version built to Russian standards can be developed.

Elta 2032 for Western and Russian aircraft are built to different non-interchangeable standards.

Which is the reason why Astra will arm Su-30 & MiG-29UPG/K/KUB first and Tejas/Mirage 2000/Jaguar later.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby shiv » 22 Mar 2017 18:11

If one can make a radio-controlled model aircraft - it is probably not such a big step to make a radio controlled aircraft using a real plane especially if control laws are already written and FBW already exists. But that would still be "man in the loop". Does Rustom land autonomously or with man in loop?

Autonomy of navigation is what missiles have and that again is something that can probably be adapted to a real aircraft. ISRO achieved a degree of autonomy + manual control for its Mars probe

The key would be sensors and decision making. Decision making would be easier is there was a man in the loop and for that foolproof communication would be required. What would the LCA use? Would commercial satellites be used for testing? Would it work in "bad weather" en route or shut down like my Airtel digital TV signal.

AI would be "a way forward" but AI for what? It would be required for a whole lot of tasks done by a pilot. Sensing weather and making flight decisions regarding weather. "Target" recognition for either smart recce for munitions rather than dumb photography.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby Yagnasri » 22 Mar 2017 18:24

One crazy mango idea. If we have a specially equipped unmanned LCA in a bunch of ACs, we can use it to provide updates to BVR missiles launched till the last minute while rest of the ACs disengage immediately after the launch of the missiles. These kinds of drones will be very useful. No?

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby tsarkar » 22 Mar 2017 18:35

For contested environments, with simple Akash / Buk missiles, an autonomous responsive system is yet to be fully developed anywhere in the world and a man-in-loop system like predator/reaper will have huge bandwith/encryption/jamming/quick response complexities.

Typically a system will be mix of two - for known scenarios, the UCAV flies autonomously while for unknown scenarios, man in loop decides.

US UCLASS and European Nuron programs are struggling with these complexities.

The US RQ-170 brought down in Iran shows the limits of best autonomous & man in loop technology in the world today. And the Iranians are under technology denial for decades!

In 2002, the US actually fitted Predators with Stingers and tried to engage Iraqi fighters that were simply more responsive. The US Predator was shot down very easily by Iraqi MiG-25.

Responsive UCAVs are atleast 20 years away. Focus on 25 Tejas a year for now.

The US QF-4 & QF-16 fly very basic modes, straight, climb, descent or turns, and are used as targets for missiles. They wont survive a minute in combat.

Mangalyaan is a bad example, because every condition was forseen and programmed. If any scenario outside of the defined set was encountered, the craft would've been lost.

In space, astronomers spend decades studying and conditions don't change in millennia. In combat, situations change in micro-seconds.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby JayS » 22 Mar 2017 20:05

tsarkar wrote:^^ I disagree, Jay

Is not about money but about manpower. It takes between 5-10 years to get a proficient & experienced engineer. Diverting experienced engineers will seriously handicap productionizing Tejas, HTT-40, LCH & LUH

Secondly, Tejas CLAW was developed by NAL National Control Law Team. Tejas was a multi-disciplinary multi agency development effort. For HAL to build all those competencies will take years.

And while ADA was the nodal agency coordinating effort, for HAL to define and divide workshare with all the agencies and subcontractors will require a complex management structure not present today.

The manpower is better used in existing projects - that are not out of the woods yet - and the administrative hassle is not worth it. We do have a UCAV program in place that will reuse existing knowledge and technologies. No need for a parallel program eating into resources.

Instead of focussing on its core function of production, HAL does not need to get into a turf war with ADA.


First of all, I do not think this project will be anywhere near the magnitude of LCA project. Neither will it get as much funding nor human resources. So to me, the point you raise about significant cross-organisational co-operation, complex project management and administrative efforts is premature. If we have any evidence suggesting otherwise, I'll be with you on this. Also I don't think there will be much of a CLAW mods being done or FCS being tinkered with, not for quite a few years into the project.

Again, I would agree with you on need to focus on LCA, if we had any evidence to conclusively say that HAL would divert resourced from MK1A and deploy on this one. For all we know the actual work may start well after MK1A design/development work is done. The production ramp up work is a job of production team mainly. A typical engineer who would be working on LCA UCAV project would really have little to contribute there. LCA UCAV would be highly avionics/SW oriented project, at least initially.

Also, I completely disagree on not putting engineering resources on unknown regimes (arguably admin resources can be much more flexible). We can debate whether it should be HAL who does that work or some lab like NAL. But if you see notice, the Aerospace OEMs engage quite a lot in this kind of research which is more of an engineering project than a pure Science project. That's how they keep up with the technology. While they also fund pure Science projects in academia or elsewhere. Its preparation for the future. HAL is now starting to act like an OEM, trying to shed its "Screwdrivergiri" label.

Lastly, having multiple centres of competence is a good thing for our country. We have enough technology work to do in next few decade which would keep all of them busy (as we become stronger economically we should have more money to spare for such work). And a lot of these folks move on and spread across in other domains eventually. That's one of the key mechanisms how Aerospace will help improve the overall technical edge of our country in many other fields. We have seen one such cycle already where government lab/HAL folks have helped set up the Engineering Services industry in BLR after 2000.

I would say, Let's not conclude that HAL is too dumb to neglect their bread and butter work which is manufacturing and put all its attention to projects which are castles in air as of now. Many times on BRF HAL is accused of being too manufacturing centric which is happy doing screwdrivergiri and earn as much easy money out of it as possible. Now if we start accusing HAL of being spendthrift while they are trying to work on futuristic projects side by side, then that would amount to beating the drum from both sides.

Its mere an idea right now, and a good one. Going by the GOI ways, I think HAL will be bootstrapping on this one for some time.

PS: On a slightly different note and may be less important but not totally irrelevant, Any good organisation needs to maintain variety of work to keep the people interested. There would always be a small section of people who can and want to work on the absolute cutting edge of their field. If HAL cannot provide for it, they will simply move elsewhere. You cannot employ them on bread and butter work effectively. Also having such section dedicated to high end work adds to the reputation of an organization, helping it to attract top talent and keeping the workforce motivated. So from HRD point of view as well it makes a lot of sense to invest on such efforts. Who knows HAL might have its own "Skunk works" in coming time.

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Re: LCA: News & Discussions - October 2016

Postby sudeepj » 22 Mar 2017 21:19

tsarkar wrote:The US RQ-170 brought down in Iran shows the limits of best autonomous & man in loop technology in the world today. And the Iranians are under technology denial for decades!


This is simply an Irani claim, which no one familiar with the technology is willing to believe. Further, its a one shot electronic weapon, a GPS receiver + INS Nav unit will only need a software upgrade to reject the type of spoofing that is claimed. Why would Iran use this single shot against a recon drone and not against missiles that could come down its throat at any time? If indeed the IRani claim is true, you can bet your bottom dollar that all Nav units in missiles etc. have undergone a software upgrade that hardens them to such spoofing.

It was more likely a stuck control surface than Irani jamming.

The cutting edge in autonomous navigation is driverless cars. Computationally, this is a far more harsh environment (stupid pedestrians, rash car drivers, poorly marked roads, not standard signage...) than a UAV. Similarly, computationally, playing chess or Go is far more intensive than air combat. Further, the car needs to operate safely for years and years while a missile/bomb needs to operate only for a few hours or minutes at most. If a computer can beat the best human at go, it can certainly beat a human at air combat.


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