posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 01:39 PM
New details about the Indian Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehical (IUCAV) have come to light. The design is a (now) typical flying wing design, with
internal weapons bays. The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization is working on RAM paint, curving inlets, and cooling systems for the
exhaust. It would be India's first stealthy design.
Dassault, BAE Systems, and Saab are all in talks with the DRDO on technology partnerships. They would almost have to have help as the program dates
are very ambitious. First flight is expected in 2015-16, with deliveries by 2020.
India's stealthy unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) program is taking shape, with the first images surfacing from the design optimization and
concept definition phase.
The flying-wing concept, designated the Indian Unmanned Strike Air Vehicle (IUSAV), is a derivative of existing flying-wing UAVs such as the European
Neuron and Boeing Phantom Ray. But in fresh indications coming from the Bengaluru-based team developing the platform, the IUSAV, code-named Aura,
could see a first prototype flight by 2015-16, with deliveries by the end of the decade. Such timelines are ambitious—especially for a program
involving technologies that India has never before attempted—but the Indian air force (IAF) and government decided to accord special funding and
other support to keep the IUSAV on schedule. The director of the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), V.K. Saraswat, recently
visited Sweden, where he is believed to have had discussions with Saab on India's unmanned efforts, including the IUSAV. Saraswat's presentation at
the Aerospace Forum there—where he described the IUSAV as an “unmanned bomber”—also revealed that IUSAV program laboratories were pursuing
development of radar-absorbent paint and materials, cool exhaust signatures for infrared suppression, conformal sensors and antennas, data links and
flying-wing aerodynamics. His presentation also illustrated elaborate threat scenarios involving future combat air systems, which included not just
the IUSAV but also an indigenous fifth-generation stealth fighter, the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, and the Indo-Russian fifth-generation fighter
aircraft, or PAK FA.
Representatives from Dassault, Saab and BAE Systems say that all three companies are in discussions with the DRDO for possible technology partnerships
in the IUSAV project. DRDO sources indicate that teams from the organization have been invited to visit facilities in France and the U.K.,
respectively, where the Neuron and BAE Taranis are being developed.