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The future belongs to UAVs

Mantis. A BAE Systems pix

BANGALORE (BNS): The Aero India 2009 will not just be about aircraft. There would be a strong presence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) which have become a key part of military strategies and operational planning.

Several versions of UAVs would be on display, a sure pointer on the future of military aviation, as all the major aviation companies are displaying the state of the art technology. The BAE Systems, for instance, will bring its latest Mantis UAV, its first foray at any international exhibition.

BAE Systems has announced that apart from Mantis, it will also have Herti at Bangalore. The Mantis is advanced concept technology demonstrator programme. It was designed to demonstrate the capabilities of a large unmanned autonomous aircraft.

India's Aeronautical Development Agency is coming up with indigenous Nishanth UAV. The Indian side would be interested in having a closer look at Mantis, which is said to be a highly sophisticated machine.

“Mantis is another important step forward in the development of UAV capabilities. The aim is to prove that the integrated technologies on Mantis, that build on several years of autonomous UAV experience within BAE Systems and the wider UK industry, can provide the tangible military capability and levels of performance required for the future,” says BAE Systems.

From Iraq and Afghanistan, from America’s war on terror elsewhere, it is by now clear that the future of military aviation significantly belongs to UAVs, especially when it comes to hostile battlefields. While the US has already exhibited its combat UAVs, other major militaries are also taking the route.

The US drones are striking regularly deep inside Pakistan-Afghanistan territory demonstrating the capabilities of combat UAVs. The future belongs to CUAVs, military experts say. The new technology has made it possible for UAVs to operate in inclement weather and during night.

The Israeli aviation companies will also display a large number of UAVs. Organisers said there is a strong Israeli presence at the Bangalore show and several of their UAVs would also be on display.

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