HAL Develops Long-Endurance AI-Driven Drone for China Border Surveillance – The New Indian Express

By PTI

NEW DELHI: State-run aerospace giant Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is working on an AI-driven, advanced, long-endurance multi-role drone for strategic missions in high-altitude areas, including including along the borders with China, people familiar with the development said Sunday.

The rotary-wing drone will have the capacity to carry a 40 kg load, including missiles and sensors, and it is developed taking into account the requirement of the armed forces to maintain high vigilance over the mountainous areas along the Real Control Line (BAC), they said.

The HAL has set itself the goal of carrying out the first test flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by the middle of next year and plans to produce 60 of these platforms in the first phase of the project, people in the know told PTI.

They said the operating system of the long-endurance drone will feature artificial intelligence applications and the armed forces will be able to use it for multiple purposes, including transporting essential supplies.

“The drone is developed in such a way that it can carry a wide range of vital military systems, including sensors, missiles and various other weapons,” said one of the people quoted above.

In addition, HAL is also studying the possibility of producing the Israeli Heron TP drones in collaboration with its manufacturer as part of an ambitious project.

“This project aims to meet the needs of our armed forces as well as global supplies,” the person said.

Heron mid-altitude drones are capable of operating for almost 45 hours at an altitude of up to 35,000 feet.

Heron TP drones are equipped with automatic taxi-take-off and landing (ATOL) and satellite communication (SATCOM) systems for extended range.

HAL is also working on two separate drone projects with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The three services plan to acquire a significant number of unmanned aerial platforms in the coming years to significantly boost their surveillance capability, particularly to monitor Chinese activities along the LAC region and the Indian Ocean.

Each of the three services has developed plans for the acquisition of the new age platforms.

The armed forces have focused on acquiring unmanned platforms, including armed drones following the clash between eastern Ladakh and China and a drone strike on the air base of Jammu last year.

Explosive-laden drones were used to carry out the attack on the Jammu air force base in June last year in the first instance of Pakistan-based suspected terrorists deploying aerial vehicles unmanned aircraft to strike vital military installations in India.

India also plans to procure around 30 multi-mission armed Predator drones from the United States for the three services at an estimated cost of over $3 billion.

In November 2020, the Navy obtained two unarmed MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones from the United States on lease.

NEW DELHI: State-run aerospace giant Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) is working on an AI-driven, advanced, long-endurance multi-role drone for strategic missions in high-altitude areas, including including along the borders with China, people familiar with the development said Sunday. The rotary-wing drone will have the capacity to carry a 40 kg load, including missiles and sensors, and it is developed taking into account the requirement of the armed forces to maintain high vigilance over the mountainous areas along the Real Control Line (BAC), they said. The HAL has set itself the goal of carrying out the first test flight of the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) by the middle of next year and plans to produce 60 of these platforms in the first phase of the project, people in the know told PTI. They said the operating system of the long-endurance drone will feature artificial intelligence applications and the armed forces will be able to use it for multiple purposes, including transporting essential supplies. “The drone is developed in such a way that it can carry a wide range of vital military systems, including sensors, missiles and various other weapons,” said one of the people quoted above. In addition, HAL is also studying the possibility of producing the Israeli Heron TP drones in collaboration with its manufacturer as part of an ambitious project. “This project aims to meet the needs of our armed forces as well as global supplies,” the person said. Heron mid-altitude drones are capable of operating for nearly 45 hours at an altitude of up to 35,000 feet. Heron TP drones are equipped with automatic taxi-take-off and landing (ATOL) and satellite communication (SATCOM) systems for extended range. HAL is also working on two separate drone projects with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The three services plan to acquire a significant number of unmanned aerial platforms in the coming years to significantly boost their surveillance capability, particularly to monitor Chinese activities along the LAC region and the Indian Ocean. Each of the three services has developed plans for the acquisition of the new age platforms. The armed forces have focused on acquiring unmanned platforms, including armed drones following the clash between eastern Ladakh and China and a drone strike on the air base of Jammu last year. Explosive-laden drones were used to carry out the attack on the Jammu air force base in June last year in the first instance of Pakistan-based suspected terrorists deploying aerial vehicles unmanned aircraft to strike vital military installations in India. India also plans to procure around 30 multi-mission armed Predator drones from the United States for the three services at an estimated cost of over $3 billion. In November 2020, the Navy obtained two unarmed MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones from the United States on lease.

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