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The DRDO AURA unmanned combat air vehicle is in the early stages of development.
Detailing the development and operational history of the DRDO AURA Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV). Entry last updated on 3/20/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The AURA will make use of many indigenously-designed and fabricated components, allowing the burgeoning Indian aviation industry to become ever-more independent of suppliers from Europe, Russia and the United States. The UAV will follow suit with other similar-class contemporaries and include full autonomy on missions with a data-link package offering hands-on control through ground stations as necessary. DRDO engineers have stated that the AURA will operate up to 30,000 feet and its internal weapons bay may be of the rail-launching type - capable of releasing missiles, laser-guided munitions or conventional drop bombs. Of note is the indigenous route being taken by the Indians in this initiative as much of the technology at play is largely new to the local aviation industry. Regardless, the government and associated participants remain very optimistic that the set project goals will ultimately be met. At any rate, the Aura will become a huge symbol of national pride for the country of 1.2 billion.
The initial prototype is not expected to be ready until 2015. Recently released computer drawings showcase a very elegant design forthcoming. A cut-away view envisions a top-mounted intake drawing air into the fuselage-mounted turbofan engine, the engine then exhausting through a horizontal slat-type opening at the rear for reduced radar signatures. The aircraft will further be coated in special radar-absorbing materials being developed within India. DRDO may, at some point, also partner with a European defense power to further the development envelope and bring the Aura online as soon as possible and possible with fewer kinks thanks to a lowered learning curve. At this early stage, however, only the planform of the airframe has been close to its finalized form.
As of this writing (2012), the AURA name is the project designation and may change during the lifecycle of this program. Adoption into service may coincide with India's first 5th Generation Fighter which will provide for a powerful one-two punch.
Any available statistics for the DRDO AURA Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).