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DRDO Nishant

Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

DRDO Nishant

Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The DRDO Nishant is an indigenous Indian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle primarily utilized in the intelligence-gathering role for the army and air force.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: India
YEAR: 2012
MANUFACTURER(S): Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE); Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) - India
PRODUCTION: 13
OPERATORS: India
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the DRDO Nishant model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 15.19 feet (4.63 meters)
WIDTH: 21.56 feet (6.57 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 838 pounds (380 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 1,213 pounds (550 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x RE-2-21-P or RE-4-37-P engine developing approximately 55 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller assembly in "pusher" configuration.
SPEED (MAX): 115 miles-per-hour (185 kilometers-per-hour; 100 knots)
RANGE: 99 miles (160 kilometers; 86 nautical miles)
CEILING: 11,811 feet (3,600 meters; 2.24 miles)




ARMAMENT



None. Surveillance- and reconnaissance-minded mission equipment as payload.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Nishant - Base Product Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the DRDO Nishant Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.  Entry last updated on 3/20/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Joining other leading world military powers in increased use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is India whose Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) agency has furthered the DRDO "Nishant" initiative. The Nishant is an unarmed UAV intended for surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and artillery support while also considered for a variety of other battlefield roles. The aircraft saw its first flight in 1995, cleared requisite Indian Army testing and has entered limited productionas of this writing (October 2013). The Nishant was born in an Indian Army requirement originating in 1988.

The Nishant makes use of a conventional aircraft arrangement and follows well-accepted UAV design form - particularly for low-altitude operations requiring extended loitering times and stability for its onboard optics payload. It features a central nacelle making up its fuselage which contains avionics and payload as well as powerplant and fuel stores. Wings are straight appendages mounted high atop the fuselage. The tail consists of a twin-boom structure joined at the rear by a single horizontal plane; outboard of this plane are vertical tail fins. There is no fixed undercarriage as the Nishant is launched via catapult system and recovered by way of a parachute and landing cushions to retard the fall. In this fashion, the Nichant's operation is somewhat less complex as is her overall production. Optics are held in a positional blister assembly located along the belly. A conventional engine installation drives a two-bladed propeller in a "pusher" arrangement at the rear of the aircraft. The Nishant weighs in at 400lbs and can carry a payload of 100 pounds. Dimensionally, the vehicle is given a length of 15 feet and a wingspan of 21.5 feet. Its design provides the airframe with a maximum speed of 115 miles per hour and cruising speeds nearing 80 miles per hour. Operational range is listed at 100 miles with a service ceiling under 12,000 feet.

The Nishant is launched from a hydropneumatic rail system seated on the bed of a Tatra series 8x8 military truck. The truck serves in other militarized forms (including rocket projector platform) and is a proven battlefield component, providing the Nishant with essentially all-terrain accessibility. Couple this to the aircraft's 4.5 hour mission endurance window and the system becomes a valuable tactical asset to Indian Army operations. The complete Nishant package includes a Ground Control Station (GCS), specially trained operators and applicable carriers of equipment to ensure proper operation of the UAV.

Early use of a Nishant occurred in July of 1999 by elements of the Indian Army over the disputed Kashmir region against Pakistani-aligned forces where its reconnaissance capabilities were put to good use. Since then, the type has been consistently modified to suit required Indian Army specifications including use of an in-house engine.

In May of 2010, The Times of India reported that a pair of Nishant UAVs had crash landed at the village of Jaisalmer. The airframes were scavenged by villagers before the arrival of the Indian military. This is in addition to a pair of incidences involving Nishants back in April of 2010 where the UAVs were forced to crash land during trials.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (115mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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  NYC
Graph showcases the DRDO Nishant's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
13
13

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue