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DRDO AURA

India (2020)
Picture of DRDO AURA Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)

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" is an Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) currently under development by DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization) for probable procurement in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The design is an all-wing concept similar to the Boeing "Phantom Ray" UCAV, featuring a defined triangle frontal section, swept-back wings, a sawtooth trailing wing edge and a centralized engine placement, straddled by an internal weapon bay. As an armed UAV (hence its "combat" designation), the AURA is expected to carry a pair of laser-guided bombs or similar (depending on mission scope). The DRDO AURA program is in its very early stages of design with certain aspects of the program still being addressed. First flight is optimistically planned for sometime in 2015 and introduction into service is planned for 2020. The AURA came to be largely due to the lack of interest in global suppliers of UCAVs willing to sell an existing system to the IAF. As such, a home-grown effort was born.

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).






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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
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0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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Origin: India
Year: 2020
Type: Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV)
Manufacturer(s): DRDO - India
Production: 0
Global Operators:
India (probable)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the DRDO AURA model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Turbofan engine.
Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
2 x Laser-Guided Bombs held in two internal bays.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• AURA - Project Designation