India reveals Unmanned Wingman UCAV concept

HAL's Unmanned Wingman UCAV. Photo c/o NDTV.

As part of Aero India 2019, India’s Hindustan Aerospace Ltd. (HAL) unveiled its new Unammed Wingman concept unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).

It is equipped with its own radar and sensors, and was designed to accompany and support manned attack aircraft, enabling the increase in weapon delivery capacity and proxy in high threat, heavily defended environment.

For the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Unmanned Wingman UCAV will be paired to a heavily modified SEPECAT Jaguar attack aircraft called the Jaguar Max, which will share data with the UCAVs through a data link and allow the pilot to get a comprehensive situational picture.

It is expected to 6 meters long, an endurance of up to 80 minutes, and a range of 800 kilometers, although it can be enlarged based on finalized requirements and will increase both range, endurance and carrying capacity.

The concept of an unmanned wingman UCAV was raised as the Indian Air Force faces shortfall on fighter aircraft availability and delays in its fighter acquisition programs. The use of UCAVs allow for a cheap force multiplier while also avoiding risks to Indian pilots operating in high contested airspace.

It is expected that the Unmanned Wingman UCAV will cost below US$5 million each, significantly cheaper than a manned fighter.

[1] NDTV

[2] IHS Jane’s
[3] Flight Global

India reveals Unmanned Wingman UCAV concept India reveals Unmanned Wingman UCAV concept Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on February 26, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments