India’s classified Unmanned Strike Air Vehicle (USAV) is making steady progress in its drawing board phase, with several key technologies in the process of maturing.
In his exclusive interview to Livefist, DRDO chief Dr Avinash Chander, when asked specifically about unmanned programmes, said, “We are working on a high stealth capability, optimising the weapon carrying capability. Various elements have been identified. It is not a ‘formal project’ at the moment. Before we come to that, we have to get a lot of enabling technologies. We are looking at those areas. Once we are confident of that, we will take up the project.”
The secret USAV programme was first revealed on Livefist three years ago.
Dr Chander also confirmed that the Kaveri turbofan would power the future UCAV. “We are focusing now on platforms that can carry weapons, with more intelligence and more powerful. That is where we feel the Kaveri engine is going to be one of the key parameters. Efforts we put in to the engine are s going to be very handy,” he said.
In June last year I posted the first ever
images from the official design phase of the USAV, post aerodynamic shape optimization and design optimization (the first depicting the AURA/USAV with its internal weapons bays, weapons and intake-exhaust architecture). I had earlier scooped some preliminary impressions
of the USAV. The guesswork impressions I commissioned
from digital artist Anurag Rana pretty much match how the vehicle is turning out.