Sunday, August 21, 2011

India developing solar-powered UAVs

After launching development of stealth UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles), India is now also looking at designing solar-powered spy drones which can cruise in the sky for several days at a time. 

"We are looking forward to develop solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a long range and endurance capability as we plan to diversify our expertise in UAV technology," Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) spokesperson Ravi Gupta said. 

The one-of-its-kind UAV will be designed and developed to endure long-range sorties ranging up to a month in all weather conditions, Gupta said.

The high-altitude, long endurance (HALE) solar-powered UAV will not just reduce Indian military's carbon footprint but more importantly provide a cost-effective and flexible 24x7 ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance) platform akin to "a pseudo-satellite" orbiting closer to the ground. Besides the armed forces, paramilitary personnel engaged in anti-Naxal operations are also looking forward to procure UAVs to snoop deep into forests inhabited by Left-wing extremists.
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