The preliminary design phase of India’s stealth UCAV, AURA, is officially underway. Top sources familiar with the programme reveal that the AURA team is currently working on overall conceptual design of flying-wing UCAV, a gas-turbine performance model for the proposed platform, intake design propulsion dynamics, 2D nozzle design and thrust vector control.
As you might expect, the AURA team has been consuming as much information as it possible can about existing stealth UCAVs in development globally now, including the European Neuron, the British Taranis, the Russian Skat and the American X-47A. The classified Indian programme will work to freeze broad design parameters by the middle of next year. The official list of government laboratories and academic institutions involved in the AURA now include GTRE Bangalore for the engines, DEAL Dehradun for datalinks and advanced electronics, DARE for avionics and electronic warfare equipment, LRDE and HAL for sensors, NAL/DMRL for materials and IIT-Kanpur for critical subsystems.