UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby pankajs » 19 Feb 2015 10:50

Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 34m34 minutes ago

MoU between ADE and HAL today for the Rustom-2. HAL is putting in 210 crores.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby pankajs » 19 Feb 2015 21:52

Saurav Jha ‏@SJha1618 7m7 minutes ago Bengaluru, Karnataka

Rustom-2 is slated for first flight in April this year. A total of eight prototypes will be built. IOC deadline is end 2019.

- All seven types of actuators used in the Rustom-2 were meant to come from MOOG USA. Unfortunately the export license was withdrawn.
- On MTCR grounds. So much for strategic partnership!
- HAL is the lead production agency for the Rustom-2. BEL is responsible for all ground control systems.
- The Army is lukewarm to the Rustom-I. It is the Indian Navy which will be its first customer.
- The really good news is that Mahindra Satyam is creating an indigenous engine for the Rustom-2 along with DRDO.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Dennis » 21 Feb 2015 12:37

OIS-AT has a big presence at AeroIndia 2015. They are also showcasing a few quadcopters and fixed wing UAVs as high tech UAVs for the armed forces.

A closer look at these UAVs shows that the guts of these UAVs are based on the hobby grade Pixhawk FC (or similar) and 3DR datalinks. The electric propulsion used on these are based on brushless motors used mostly in the hobby world and their info boards also use the same nomenclature as the hobby world for various descriptions.

This company appears to be peddling snake oil.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby prahaar » 21 Feb 2015 14:23

rkhanna wrote:
XP version is unarmed and "stripped down" probably with less powerful engine. Rustom 2 will be weaponized I think. No harm in learning a thing or two from the top dog.
'


The XP's sold to the UAE have 35 hours of endurance. But are specifically designed so that they cannot be weaponised even by third parties (dont know how they achieve that)


I guess American weapons come with physical verification/inspection as a clause? Even the C-130Js come with Boeing support teams in India.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby nash » 21 Feb 2015 14:30

what will be the prospect and feasibility of using HTFE-25 in Indian UCAV, apart from AURA, in lines of Avenger.

It can be rustom-III for India.

IMO

Rustom-I or H : Predator-A
Rustom-II: Predator-B (Reaper)
Rustom-III:Predator-c (Avenger)

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Zynda » 21 Feb 2015 14:46

prahaar wrote:Even the C-130Js come with Boeing support teams in India.


Slight OT. C-130 is a Lockheed product. I think you've confused with C-17 Globemaster. As far as the Boeing support team, IAF has opted for Boeing's Globemaster Sustainment Partnership support system for the C-17 Globemaster. That particular program has been opted by almost all operators of C-17. Boeing is also offering similar support systems for its 787 and has plans to extend it to all products called Goldcare or something like that. Its based on Performance based logistics, where OEM is responsible for upkeep of the product. OEM takes care of supply chain system for parts, maintenance etc, and supposed to be very efficient.

Its an attempt by OEMs to make their own space in the lucrative MRO space (both commercial & military)

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 21 Feb 2015 17:38

^^ Fueled by the customer's demand to bring in commercial " best practices" and procedures to the military domain to greatly reduce LCC and boost mission availability. Cargo aircraft are the best examples of these since there is little reason why they cannot be maintained and sustained like a commercial aircraft especially when the OEM has decades of experience dealing with commercial customers on sustainment enhancements.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Gyan » 21 Feb 2015 19:11

I thought HAL got a contract for 15 Rustom-2s in 2009 for Rs. 1800 crores. Is actuators really an issue or HAL as usual delaying all indigenous programs to help import lobby?

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby prahaar » 21 Feb 2015 19:26

Zynda wrote:
prahaar wrote:Even the C-130Js come with Boeing support teams in India.


Slight OT. C-130 is a Lockheed product. I think you've confused with C-17 Globemaster. As far as the Boeing support team, IAF has opted for Boeing's Globemaster Sustainment Partnership support system for the C-17 Globemaster.

Yes, my mistake. My point was simply to indicate that enforcement of certain restrictions (of not weaponizing) may not be purely technical but also procedural, w.r.t the UAE UAV deal.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 23 Feb 2015 09:57

what will be the prospect and feasibility of using HTFE-25 in Indian UCAV, apart from AURA, in lines of Avenger.

It can be rustom-III for India.

IMO

Rustom-I or H : Predator-A
Rustom-II: Predator-B (Reaper)
Rustom-III:Predator-c (Avenger)


I hear from a Chaiwalla that the CEO/Promoter of one of India's largest Industrial houses was recently in the US to negotiate certain ToTs of the Global Hawk Platform. I hear from another Chaiwalla who has a start-up UAV company that the Rustom II may end up as a technology demonstrator for validating key Systems and tech and the 'Rustom II' will be built to the design specs of the Private Player while major subsystems will be sourced/licensed from DRDO.

For whatever its worth....

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 23 Feb 2015 10:01

what will be the prospect and feasibility of using HTFE-25 in Indian UCAV, apart from AURA, in lines of Avenger.

It can be rustom-III for India.

IMO

Rustom-I or H : Predator-A
Rustom-II: Predator-B (Reaper)
Rustom-III:Predator-c (Avenger)


I hear from a Chaiwalla that the CEO/Promoter of one of India's largest Industrial houses was recently in the US to negotiate certain ToTs of the Global Hawk Platform. I hear from another Chaiwalla who has a start-up UAV company that the Rustom II may end up as a technology demonstrator for validating key Systems and tech and the 'Rustom II' will be built to the design specs of the Private Player while major subsystems will be sourced/licensed from DRDO.

For whatever its worth....

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Shreeman » 23 Feb 2015 10:09

Gyan wrote:I thought HAL got a contract for 15 Rustom-2s in 2009 for Rs. 1800 crores. Is actuators really an issue or HAL as usual delaying all indigenous programs to help import lobby?


I have never really understood the "actuator" issue. I have asked and was given no real answer as to why its so hard to just build the damn things. Them actuators are far far far from rocket science. If you can't build them as needed yourself, might as well admit that most of the development is screwdriver-giri only.

The same applies to random small engines. Ok, I get the whole 199KN engine bit. But when you are importing 25KN for single use unmanned, while claiming you are building/running 80KN for 1000s hours something is wonky.

No attempt to even build simple radials, or prop. engines. Like experimentation is a hateful/horrible thing.

For all the big claims of UAV development (and my post history shows questions asked years ago, when the big claims of building UAVs started) by private players, it will turn into another import circus.
Last edited by Shreeman on 23 Feb 2015 12:43, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Gyan » 23 Feb 2015 11:18

HAL has f*cked up each and every in house programme. HTT-40, Rustom-2, LUH, IJT all massively delayed inspite of no known major technological challenge & practically all components being imported. Which moron told them to import components from USA?

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Shreeman » 23 Feb 2015 12:41

You mean like a) 4 strategic areas identified including UAVs, b)C130s, c)M777, d)C17s, e)LCA engine, f)Chinooks, g)apaches...

Moog is a known quantity. There is nothing dumb about hoping to cut down development cycle by itself. The US was the only game in town allowed for a while.

The problem is not building inhouse capability, or rebadging things to claim "indegenous" capability.

Call it Baaz as much you like or Bahadur. Its a Mig. Call it a Mig. Do the same component wise, and soon you will see the internal agencies forced to produce some results. And for mass production, accept the 97% result instead of wanting the 150% specified.

HAL is hardly at fault in the *particular* decision to import from Moog. The other programs are separate matters.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Cybaru » 23 Feb 2015 19:18

rkhanna wrote:
what will be the prospect and feasibility of using HTFE-25 in Indian UCAV, apart from AURA, in lines of Avenger.

It can be rustom-III for India.

IMO

Rustom-I or H : Predator-A
Rustom-II: Predator-B (Reaper)
Rustom-III:Predator-c (Avenger)


I hear from a Chaiwalla that the CEO/Promoter of one of India's largest Industrial houses was recently in the US to negotiate certain ToTs of the Global Hawk Platform. I hear from another Chaiwalla who has a start-up UAV company that the Rustom II may end up as a technology demonstrator for validating key Systems and tech and the 'Rustom II' will be built to the design specs of the Private Player while major subsystems will be sourced/licensed from DRDO.

For whatever its worth....


I hope that is not true. Private players should be able to source stuff if they are trying to marry the american shell and engines with desi stuff to make an offering, but to scuttle Rustom-2 would set us back a long time.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 24 Feb 2015 03:41

Gyan wrote:HAL has f*cked up each and every in house programme. HTT-40, Rustom-2, LUH, IJT all massively delayed inspite of no known major technological challenge & practically all components being imported. Which moron told them to import components from USA?

HAL's weakness is project management. But you are not doing much better either in choosing the projects to ridicule :wink:

HTT-40: They were NEVER given the go ahead! Every effort has been made to discourage them in public and stymie their development in private. Despite that, they have gone from project start to first prototype in less than 5 years.
Rustom-2: Is not a HAL project :wink:
LUH: is very similar to HTT-40. The only slow-down till now has been with choosing the engine because Safran tried to armtwist its position of strength and HAL stood up against it. What is more, with the ALH experience behind them and the confidence of having a great product on their hands, they came up with the jigs for producing the helis in parallel. The prototypes have been assembled on these jigs themselves.
IJT: The first three years were phenomenal. They made mistakes thereafter. But it is okay, they have learnt a lot.

Similarly, we can all be smart with the advantage of hindsight. But, Moog is the market leader in hydraulics, and also HAL were also already sourcing from hydraulics from Moog. May be it is easier for others, but had I been put in their position, I couldn't have foreseen this either.

HAL has a lot to answer when it comes to IMRH/NMRH, MTA, in fact even LCA. But for projects you spoke of, not so much.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 24 Feb 2015 04:00

Shreeman wrote:
I have never really understood the "actuator" issue. I have asked and was given no real answer as to why its so hard to just build the damn things. Them actuators are far far far from rocket science. If you can't build them as needed yourself, might as well admit that most of the development is screwdriver-giri only.

The same applies to random small engines. Ok, I get the whole 199KN engine bit. But when you are importing 25KN for single use unmanned, while claiming you are building/running 80KN for 1000s hours something is wonky.

No attempt to even build simple radials, or prop. engines. Like experimentation is a hateful/horrible thing.

For all the big claims of UAV development (and my post history shows questions asked years ago, when the big claims of building UAVs started) by private players, it will turn into another import circus.

I don't know if it is satisfactory, but for what its worth:

1. Of course actuators are not as difficult as rocket science, but it is not as easy as you think either. India builds all kinds of actuators. But, actuators for aviation have to be extremely fast, precise, reliable and durable. Albeit its a niche, but it is a definitely a high-tech know-how. That is why there are not many Moogs in the world.
2. HAL is blamed for everything. How many things will it build in house? And probably there is not enough volume for the private companies to sink their teeth into this.
3. The actuators would need to be certified. At Aero-India seminar, Bhadoria said that CEMILAC would check everything for an in-house product, but clear an already certified product almost immediately (this was strongly refuted by the chair). I think this is understandable. A.M. Philip Rajkumar was asked about what he thought was the greatest achievement and challenges facing CEMILAC. He said, when LCA was started, there was no certifying agency in India. We did not know how to certify an aircraft and its parts. Therefore, CEMILAC has learnt at the job, and has done it admirably. So, Bhadoria may not be completely off here.

Probably, India can and should learn to build actuators and certify them, but can our projects be kept waiting till then?

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Shreeman » 24 Feb 2015 04:11

indranilroy wrote:Probably, India can and should learn to build actuators and certify them, but can our projects be kept waiting till then?


There is no "probably" about it. If you recall my rants in the LCA X,000 production episode, one of the motivations is this chicken and egg 22. This whole greed of "lets get the rafale and xx will come with it" needs to go away.

Internet now sucks. Sucks hard that good people who could substantiate with facts and argue strongly for domestic production have retreated to shadows.

Lastly, I will go out on a limb, and note that while Moog was a fine selection, equivalent products exist in India, a la FH77 blue prints. Might even be in use in the same field. But transparency, dissemination, accountability are not exactly favored skills any more. The actuators are a red herring. The rustom taxing already has them. Will it fly?

The pudding needs to be eaten, at langar, en masse, in arjun, in LCA, in LUH, and in P75i. Only then, when dishes are washed will the dirt show up.

There is no lack of man power, and no reason for any "waiting".

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 24 Feb 2015 04:34

Agreed, that India probably has to develop this tech. But, I India currently does not have this technology. As I said before. The hydraulics on the FH77 (for example) is completely different from the hydraulics on an aircraft. The hydraulics on an aircraft has to meet ALL the below conditions:

1. Precise: less than 1 degree of tolerance
2. Powerful: under limited volume and weight
3. Fast: up to 30 hz
4. Reliable: undertake cycles continuously throughout the length of a flight, and throughout the entire flight envelop, temperature and pressure.
5. Durable: 10-15 years of continuous operation

The closest that we have to fulfilling all of the above conditions is probably the hydraulic actuators used in some of our missiles. But even for them, point 5 has probably not been verified.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Shreeman » 24 Feb 2015 04:45

indranilroy wrote:Agreed, that India probably has to develop this tech. But, I India currently does not have this technology. As I said before. The hydraulics on the FH77 (for example) is completely different from the hydraulics on an aircraft. The hydraulics on an aircraft has to meet ALL the below conditions:

1. Precise: less than 1 degree of tolerance
2. Powerful: under limited volume and weight
3. Fast: up to 30 hz
4. Reliable: undertake cycles continuously throughout the length of a flight, and throughout the entire flight envelop, temperature and pressure.
5. Durable: 10-15 years of continuous operation

The closest that we have to fulfilling all of the above conditions is probably the hydraulic actuators used in some of our missiles. But even for them, point 5 has probably not been verified.


Indranil,

May be you are right, may be not.

Clearly this is not a world where we can discuss matters at that level.

I did not point to FH77 as the source, just that there was a two decade debate over artillary before the blue prints surfaced in public. Perhaps, worth looking around for who has what before claiming another major development skirting the sanctions and saving xx crore as they usually do 10 years late.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vipins » 24 Feb 2015 21:15

Manik Engine Specs from AI 15

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Karan M » 24 Feb 2015 21:25

There are no actuator drawings etc transferred to India. Wonder where Bofors matters?
Fact is actuators (flightworthy for frontline fighters) are super specialized. France uses Moog for Rafale. Euro companies use Moog for EF. Saab for Gripen...
On the plus side, the Moog ones are very reliable, we swapped a set around and ran the LCA programs during sanctions. Indigenized a few. Point is they are not rapid replacement items and hence stockpiling sets can help and is doable.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Indranil » 24 Feb 2015 23:58

vipins wrote:Manik Engine Specs from AI 15


This is a great development. It is not best in class, but it is still really really good. We will get there through a few more refinements. Range of Nirbhay will get better when we get the SFC below 0.7.

Meanwhile, they are tinkering with the air inlet on Nirbhay. Seems like the inlet had a role to play in the failure of the first test. They fixed it in the second tests. Wonder if it still needs a little more tinkering to make the airflow completely buzzfree (remember the flickers from the engine in the video of the second test).

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Karan M » 25 Feb 2015 12:30

Saurav Jha

>>Of the 2 wpns displayed at the IAF stall one is an air launched cruise missile. The gent who designed it told me it will be tested soon.
0 replies 0 retweets 0 favorites

The Indian military has indicated that it needs 76 Rustom-2s to begin with.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby hnair » 27 Feb 2015 14:10

Any updates from the AI '15 on the chetak-based NRUAV project? khan's MQ-8C, based on a Bell407 seem to have started 2 years after that (2010 vs 2008 for NRUAV :wink: :wink: :wink: ) and seem to be making steady progress.

Expect a Ver2.0 of Northrop-Grumman's earlier :(( "NRUAV is dud onlee. plijj to buy this fatter firescout"

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vipins » 01 Mar 2015 17:33

MAV
RUSTOM I
ABHYAS
RUSTOM II
[urlhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/suvichitra/16059616424/in/album-72157651095492951/]LAKSHYA specs[/url]
LAKSHYA at Sea

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vasu raya » 07 Mar 2015 21:04

Can they mod Daksh to be able to mount weapons on aircraft pylons?

Image

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby jamwal » 07 Mar 2015 21:19

^^ Too small.
Bombs and missiles weigh 100s of KGs which this ROV just can't lift.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Neshant » 19 Mar 2015 08:27


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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby member_28928 » 21 Mar 2015 04:15

I have a suggestion for future Indian UCAV:
1) Reactivate Mig 21 production lines of HAL & produce them in hundreds,
2) Make necessary changes to the structure & fit computers & other required machinaries to make them Unmanned Fighters. These unmanned fighters could be controlled either from Ground Stations or AWACS.

Quantity is in itself a quality, which will be useful if our northern neighbor tries to intimidate us.

I request opinions of BRF Seniors on this suggestion.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 21 Mar 2015 04:56

Whats so unique about a Mig-21? If something like that is to be done the LCA is much better. It has better systems, avionics that are the most cutting edge of those possible atm in house and would be many times easier to modify, upgrade. A closed ended system designed decades ago is going to be a pain in the a$$ to modify. The biggest problem with an unmanned craft is the data link and controling it in real-time. Thats the biggest challenge with the predator for example. A fighter needs to be prepared for dynamic maneuvers and perforing at a moment's notice based on the tactical picture that is constantly changing. Waiting for SA to pipeline through the data-link, and then getting feedback from the pilot on the ground is a non-starter for a fighter-role. There is a reason why the whole world looking at unmanned-fighters is counting on computing and autonomy to catch up. It hasn't and is unlikely for another 30 years or so. Meanwhile UCAV's are doing what they do best i.e. strike. You could have them loiter around in pickets armed with Air to Air missiles but then again a fighter like system has poor TOS anyhow so'll you'll ideally want something that can stay up for hours. Think an Avenger type of system but slightly faster and with the capability to carry MRAAM's.

The question against a near peer adversary is always " How secure are your data-links" especially the larger ones required to keep on track a coordinated combat effort involving piloting drones from the ground over large distances (lots of drones beaming back and forth, lots of data - that can be intercepted, jammed, spoofed or denied).

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vasu raya » 22 Mar 2015 07:24

^^^

what is this Avenger system you are referring to? and how far have lasers advanced for communication?

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vasu raya » 22 Mar 2015 07:27

cross posting

vishvak wrote:Sorry if posted earlier:
Licenced to loop
Aaron spent 12 months making modifications to the helicopter including strengthening the airframe, shifting its center of gravity to make it more maneuverable and modifying the fuel and oil system.

But of all the parts that make up the helicopter, Aaron says the most important is the piece of forged titanium that is the rotor head.
..
The solid titanium rotor head on the Bo105 is the heart of the "rigid rotor" system that allows Aaron to perform aerobatics. .. The main rotor of a helicopter is the most complex part of the aircraft. Most helicopters allow the main rotor blades to either flap up and down or pivot forward and back as they spin. Some allow the blades to do both. The Bo105 doesn't allow either.

"Between the rigid head and the composite rotor blades is the key to how this thing can do what it does," Aaron says.

See the pics too.


Are such rigid rotors needed for NRURAV system to succeed on Chetak?

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 22 Mar 2015 07:49

vasu raya wrote:^^^

what is this Avenger system you are referring to? and how far have lasers advanced for communication?


Avenger - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_Avenger

Image

My suggestion was an avenger type setup with a saber warrior like role or the the Minion..

Image

But there is a reason that no one is doing it yet. The challenges are many especially when you are trying to get the sort of coordination. Much of the western world operates with Link 16..Only the US out of NATO nations have a dedicated VLO supportable waveforms and those are primarily for SA sharing. It would be a very very large technical leapfrog to get full autonomous or assisted joint operations with a complicated and capable UAV and a manned asset. It will take some time (think 20 years) for such a concept to even begin to demonstrate (tech demonstrator like thing) fighter like objectives - even for the most cutting edge customers.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby Neshant » 31 Mar 2015 10:18

A somewhat depressing view of the murderous role these drones play. Its actually a strike from an Apache but it may as well be from a drone which has a much higher civilian kill ratio :


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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby JTull » 01 Apr 2015 03:00

These guys are p!gs. Quite literally, trigger happy!

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby vasu raya » 03 Apr 2015 02:37

Cross posting

brar_w wrote:Latest comments by Randy Forbes who heads the sea power committee basically LET OUT when he said that he cannot speak of the "latest developments" in the program because he doesn't want to land in jail.


Even before we get to the Avenger or its Naval version, the Predator flying missions from Afghan bases never had trouble with the Taliban trying to bring them down with MANPADs even during landing and takeoff phases. So, is it fair to say part of the endurance requirement for Navy's UCLASS comes from having to protect the LO tech? once B-2s were flown all the way from the US mainland to Iraq on day long missions as they didn't want them to be based closer to the war theater despite having no threat.

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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2015 05:35

The problem is not with the Predator or any other drone its with COCOM requirements. The COCOM's not only produce requirement for existing threats but also do so for future threats. There is no real need for Low End UCAV at the moment as there is sufficient hardware with capacity that can come up with more manpower (operators). The problem is with survival UCAV's of which there aren't sufficient. The Avenger is being produced at one vehicle every 7 months but only for the CIA not for the services.

There is nothing about protecting the LO tech either because its been decades since the B-2 and you have globally deployed stealth in the F-117, F-22, and will do so with the F-35 as well. The problem is with the Navy's intention. They want a defensive system for ISR with little to nothing in strike capability. From its perspective thats fairly good because it plugs ISR orbits and frees up E-2D orbits or F-18/F-35 orbits which require huge volume of aircraft to maintain the hours for such missions.

However, this does not support the enterprise in any way. The USN still would need the Long Range Strike and tactical land based platforms to prep a high end enemy's denial efforts before it gains access to the "fight". Without those efforts the carrier would take a huge risk. So far this is the US B-1, B-2 task but the stakes will jump significantly when you have 100 LRS bombers augmented by RQ-180's, P-AEA etc and thousands of stealthy F-35's. The Navy does not want to develop a Medium-Long range, highly survivable, sophisticated sensor laden UCAV for its CVN's (that was the PRIMARY mission of the J-UCAS program from which the X-47 took birth and from which the UCLASS evolved) because that would eat into a mission that the USAF is currently obligated to perform if it wants the high tempo access that carriers provide (Land based fighters take time to globally deploy and begin generating high sorties).

Thats the catch 22. An ISR, semi-stealthy UAV, essentially what the USN now all of a sudden wants can be developed and fielded for around $10 Billion as per the CBS estimate. The USN has a NAVAIR budget gap that it is going to find tough to fill out. The F-18E/F procurement is about to close and the F-35C is going to be 15-20% more expensive so they need that much boost per year for the same amount. Furthermore an FA-XX development would cost around 15-20 Billion from the USN sometime around the 2025-2035 time-frame.

What the Pentagon, Civilian leadership and influential folks within the Congress are saying is that the Navy should leverage the massive classified investments of the USAF i.e. 2 Billion development for the RQ_180 alone, and a total Classified budget that runs in to 15-20 Billion annually just for the USAF. They want a Mini-RQ-180 (RQ-180 is expected to have a global hawk like span) with more strike then ISR so that the carrier's reach is extended and it can create the gaps in the enemy's A2AD by itself. It seems the Navy is reluctantly agreeing to this or trying to find a compromise, but from an INTER-SERVICE rivalry and politics the USN would open up a CAN OF WORMS if it qualifies a Mini-B2 like platform from a Carrier..

U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), a member of the cabal that has been pushing for a high-end Uclass, was discreet in an early-February discussion. “I’m pretty comfortable with the direction that the program is taking,” he said. “I’m not trying to be vague. I just don’t want to go to jail.”


http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion ... ss-mystery

A joint platform is a U.S. Air Force/Navy program—the term can have no other meaning—but if Work is arranging a marriage for Uclass, where’s the bridegroom? When orbital patterns are so disturbed, it’s time to look for a dark planet somewhere in the system.

In October 2010, Maj. Gen. Dave Scott, head of the Air Force’s operational requirements directorate, gave a briefing that disclosed the service’s plans for a long-range strike family of systems (LRS-FoS)—plans that then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates approved a few months later.

Three family members are real today: LRSB, the Long-Range Standoff cruise missile and a “penetrating intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance” (P-ISR) vehicle, which is Northrop Grumman’s secret RQ-180. (A fourth, Conventional Prompt Global Strike, was dropped like a bad habit as soon as the Pentagon’s exit door closed behind its leading advocate, and was replaced by the Minuteman follow-on.)

That leaves one: Penetrating Airborne Electronic Attack (P-AEA). In the LRS-FoS plan, RQ-180 would find targets for LRSB and the P-AEA would suppress defenses. Together, they fill the capabilities gap between the cost-constrained LRSB and the Battlestar-Galactica Next-Generation Bomber (NGB) that Gates canceled in 2009.

Also, after P-AEA appeared in Scott’s briefing, the Air Force terminated its nascent MQ-X project, leaving itself with no visible solution to an obvious problem, which is a large force of MQ-9 Reapers that can be shot down with World War II weapons.

P-AEA appears in no known plan, but you need not dig very deep into the Air Force’s fiscal 2016 budget to find $7 billion in classified acquisition money that is neither part of the cash that the Pentagon launders for the intelligence community, nor the LRSB.

And between early 2007, when Boeing became Lockheed Martin’s partner on the NGB, and October 2013, when the companies re-partnered with Boeing in the front seat, St. Louis proved it had the chops to be publicly and unequivocally identified as the lead on that huge, critical and complex program. Boeing’s stealth expertise has been shown in the X-36, X-45, Bird of Prey and Phantom Ray, but that’s still not the same as delivering and sustaining a complete system.

What follows is a speculative scenario, an exercise in the risky art of connect-the-dots:

A classified P-AEA program started in 2011-12. It may have involved flight demonstrations. Quite recently, Boeing won it, hence McNerney’s confidence about St Louis’s future. It’s been designated RAQ-25, indicating it has a strike capability, and as well as pathfinding for the LRSB, it takes on the MQ-X role. RAQ-25 is somewhere in that $7 billion slush fund.

Work’s comments about “capabilities that we already have” indicate he and other leaders are pushing for a joint Air Force/Navy program based on the RAQ-25. The delay in Uclass allows time for a carrier variant to be demonstrated, and competitors have deemed the battle half over.

rkhanna
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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby rkhanna » 03 Apr 2015 09:42


brar_w
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Re: UAVs, Drones, Remote Surveillance Tech

Postby brar_w » 03 Apr 2015 20:20

Navy to Conduct First Aerial Refueling of X-47B Carrier Drone

The Navy plans to perform an aerial refueling for the first time on its carrier-launched demonstrator drone aircraft, the X-47B, within the next few weeks, service officials said.
The refueling, to take place at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., will have the X-47B link up with an Omega air refueling tanker, Navy officials told Military.com. Omega is a contractor that works with the Defense Department.

The X-47B made history when it flew from a carrier in May and November of 2013 and is now working on streamlining carrier deck operations and maneuvers with manned aircraft.
The Navy has launched and landed a carrier-based drone in rapid succession with an F/A-18 fighter jet as part of a series of joint manned and unmanned flight tests aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in August of last year off the coast of Norfolk, Va., service officials said.

After an eight minute flight, the X-47B executed an arrested landing, folded its wings and taxied out of the landing area before moving out of the way for an F/A-18 to land, Navy officials said.
Navy engineers worked on some slight modifications to the X-47B aircraft in order to allow it to both land and integrate in rapid succession with fixed-wing fighter jets.
The refueling will happen as the UCLASS program faces stiff criticism from prominent members of Congress who continue to push for a stealthy, long-endurance, penetrating strike platform.
An ongoing Pentagon intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, or ISR, review is currently exploring the range of desired capabilities for the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Launched Aircraft Surveillance and Strike system, or UCLASS.
The thrust of the examination focuses on how stealthy the new first-of-its kind carrier-launched drone needs to be, how much of a weapons payload it will be configured to carry and deliver and how far it will be engineered to fly with and without aerial refueling.

The Navy had planned to launch a competition among vendors to build the UCLASS through the release of what’s called a Request For Proposal, or RFP this past summer. However, concerns from lawmakers, analysts and some Pentagon leaders wound up resulting in a substantial delay for the competition in order to allow time for a formal review of needed requirements for the platform.
Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work said the ongoing review is making progress but the Pentagon and Navy are still not ready to move forward yet with a formal proposal.
"We decided this year we were almost ready to launch the RFP, but we decided we need to take a pause because we want to consider the UCLASS as part of the joint family of unmanned surveillance strike systems and make sure that we're going after the right capabilities," Work said at a recent speech at the U.S. Naval Institute.
Work was likely referring to the manner in which every major platform or weapons system needs to be integrated with other services in order to operate properly in a joint combat environment, said Loren Thompson, vice president of the Lexington Institute, a Virginia-based think tank.
Aerial refueling technology is central to the debates about UCLASS because larger fuel tanks affect the size, shape and contours of the body of the aircraft and affect its stealth properties by changing the radar cross-section of the aircraft.
Some design proposals for UCLASS would make the drone less stealthy and less able to carry a larger weapons payload – yet be able to travel very long distances as an ISR platform. Other proposals focus more on stealth and weapons payload.
If UCLASS were designed for maximum stealth and weapons-carrying potential from its inception, engineers would most likely envision an aircraft with a comparatively smaller tank in order to lower the radar cross-section of the aircraft. A differently-configured fuel tank might result in the need for more aerial refueling as a way to extend the aircraft’s range and ensure long-endurance ISR, analysts have explained.
In 2013, the Navy awarded four contracts valued at $15 million for preliminary design review for the UCLASS to Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
The ongoing uncertainty and disagreements about UCLASS requirements could mean that the platform might wind up getting cancelled if sequestration returns in 2016, Thompson added.



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