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UAV Nishant to be handed over to Indian Army soon

India's own UAV Nishant on display at the Aero India 2009 in Bangalore. DPR image

BANGALORE (BNS): India’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) will be handing over its first indigenously built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant to the Indian Army soon.

ADE Project Director G Srinivasa Murthy said that the limited series production is specially prepared for the Indian Army as per its requirements. “The confirmatory trials of Nishant are planned and it is ready for delivery,” he said.

Nishant, which means ‘end of darkness’ is a tactical UAV and can be employed in tactical areas in a local domain.

Explaining, the capability of Nishant, the project director said that it is a multi-mission day/night capability using advance payloads, jam resistant command link and digital down link. “It is a highly mobile, compact and easily deployable system and can undertake day/night battle field reconnaissance, surveillance, target tracking and localisation. It can also help in correction of artillery fire. With an endurance capacity of 4 hours and 30 minutes, it can attain maximum speed of 185 km per hour,” he said.

Murthy said that ADE was embarking upon another project to build another UAV with Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) with multi-mission capability. “Rustom, named after Rustom Damania, who was instrumental in conceptualising the idea, will have 300 km range with 200 kg payload,” he said.

The project will take to the flying stage in about three years, he said. Giving details about the project, Murthy said, the Rustom had an endurance level of more than 24 hours, and it could be used by all three armed forces. “Rustom can be useful in reconnaissance and surveillance, target acquisition and designation, communications relay and signal intelligence. ADE has acquired about 4200 acres of land in Chitradurga district in Karnataka which is being developed for test range only for UAV,” Murthy said.

Prototypes of both UAVs are on display at the ongoing Aero India 2009 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore.

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