It is planned to fly these drones alongside manned aircraft to help extend the aircraft’s sensing range and to also provide an additional weapons bay. The UAS will have a conventional take-off and landing.
After a gap of 75 years, the Japanese are back to operating fighter jets from flat-deck warships at sea. The last time the Japanese Navy launched a plane from an aircraft carrier was during the World War II (1939-1945).
The first plane of the latest version of the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, labelled as ‘Block III’ has been delivered to the US Navy. These are the same planes the US aerospace giant is offering to India for its aircraft carrier based operations.
A new ‘technology suite’ for light drones allows longer flight hours and with less human intervention. Compared with traditional drones using batteries and line-of-sight radio links, drones equipped with Honeywell’s Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) technologies can fly farther, carry more weight, avoid hazards up to three kilometers away and stream video of their progress anywhere in the world.
The F404-GE-IN20 engine is an enhanced production version of the F404, which is successfully powering India’s Light Combat Aircraft MKI. The highest thrust variant of the F404 family, the F404-GE-IN20 incorporates GE’s latest hot section materials and technologies, as well as a FADEC for reliable power and outstanding operational characteristics
India is looking at two variants. One for the Navy and the other for the Army and the IAF. India has, so far, been studying the MQ9B-Sky Guardian and the Sea Guardian, models of the company. However, some of the drones will the latest variant of the predator family called the MQ-9A block 5, that has been successfully tested for anti submarine warfare (ASW) capability in January this year.
It’s an agile, maneuverable aircraft that flies twice as far and twice as fast as the Black Hawk helicopter it will replace — and sits in the same operational footprint
AEW&CS planes are to be developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) – an entity under the Ministry of Defence – under a Rs 10,500 crore ( $1.3 billion) plan. These planes will be modified to fly with a radar that will give 360-degree surveillance capability to the defence forces.
The US policy change affected in July this year and the subsequent moves, break China’s rapidly growing influence in the ‘armed drone market’. India or Taiwan would be a ‘no go zone’ for Chinese companies, which, however, in the past, had sold drones to UAE. Beijing had even sold some drones to Saudi Arabia, a long standing ally of the US
attempts at airborne retrieval of three unmanned air vehicles, nicknamed Gremlins, were just inches from success in DARPA’s latest flight test series which started on October 28. The DARPA hopes to rectify and demonstrate air retrieval in the next testing scheduled in spring of 2021