Friday, April 23, 2010

Nishant UAV Undergoing Confirmatory Trials

India’s Nishant UAV is undergoing crucial confirmatory user trials at Pokhran. The trials began April 20 and will last for one more week.
Nishant previously underwent stiff user trials at Pokhran in August 2009. The UAV was developed by the Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), along with two other Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) laboratories.
A senior official overseeing the program at DRDO headquarters in New Delhi confirmed to Aviation Week that the UAV’s confirmatory trials are crucial for the Indian Army. Senior scientists and engineers from DRDO and the India Army are witnessing the flights. During the last trials, the Army wanted to improve some features which are being tested during the current trials. Two flights have been completed and four more are planned in the coming days, the official said.
A senior Army official at Pokhran said the trials are moving forward in a very satisfactory manner. “We are checking three crucial parameters: video quality, tracking ability and fall of gunshot [missed distance after firing]. These input performances are critical to our operations in the forward areas,” the official said.
All four limited series production UAVs are taking part in the Pokhran trials. Sources said that senior officials from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Punjab police are witnessing the trials. DRDO has delivered the first four UAVs to the Indian Army at a cost of 800 million Rs ($17.9 million). The UAVs earlier underwent trials at Kolar, near Bangalore.
Nishant can stay aloft for nearly five hours and has a maximum speed of 185 km. per hour. It is a multimission day/night capability UAV with advance payloads, a jam resistant command link and digital down link. Nishant is compact and can be easily deployed for battlefield reconnaissance, target tracking and fine-tuning of artillery fire. It is launched using a mobile hydro-pneumatics system and can be recovered with the help of parachutes. 
Nishant UAV photo: DRDO

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