Indigenous drone successfully test flown

June 20th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) A state-of-the-art indigenous drone that will quantitatively boost the Indian Army’s capabilities in border states like Jammu and Kashmir was successfully test flown Friday, the defence ministry said. The Nishant unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) was successfully flight tested near Kolar in Karnataka, a defence ministry statement said.

“Nishant has completed its development and user trials. The present flight tests are pre-confirmatory trials before induction into service,” the statement added.

At 380 kg, the drone is one of the few in the world in its weight class capable of being catapult launched and recovered by an onboard parachute, thus eliminating the need for a runway as in the case of conventional UAVs that take off and land with wheels.

The Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment has jointly developed the drone with the Defence Electronics Application Laboratory at Dehradun, and the Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment at Agra.

Nishant is primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over the battlefield, as also for reconnaissance surveillance, target designation, artillery fire correction, damage assessment, electronic intelligence and signal intelligence.

The Indian army would deploy the drone in forward areas in Jammu and Kashmir, for gathering electronic intelligence. The Israeli Heron drone currently performs this task.

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