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Indias First Dedicated Unmanned Systems Magazine

Vol II Issue V

Apr/May 2014

$ 20 USD
100

F L Y I N G M A C H I N E S

DEFEXPO

2014

Unmanned Systems Review

EMERGING UAS JOB OPPORTUNITIES


UAV FUTURE TRENDS
LDRA ACADEMIC ALLIANCE PROGRAM
INDIAS FUTURE MARITIME FORCE
HOW TATAs BAGGED ARMYs MINI UAV ORDER
INTERVIEWS
CONTROP PRECISION TECHNOLOGIES
RRG ENGINEERING
ASTERIA AEROSPACE

JOHNNETTE

L
A
I
R
O
T
I
D
E
Increasing Demand of
Unmanned Systems

he demand of unmanned systems is on the rise. More than thirty


unmanned systems companies show cased their products at the recent
DEFEXPO 2014 held at New Delhi in February this year. More than
twenty companies were from outside India. Tata Advanced Systems also
bagged the largest order so far from the Northern Command of the Indian Army in
the small UAV segment. Thats a good news for small UAV making companies as
the requirement of UAVs in Indian Army is not
just limited to only one command. More non
defence government agencies in India are also
showing interest in using UAVs to their
advantage. Tamil Nadu Police is one among
them.

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Apr/May 2014 Vol II Issue 5

CEO & EDITOR


Annette Livingstone
MANAGING DIRECTOR
Lt Cdr (R) John Livingstone
CONSULTING EDITORS
Lt Col (R) Rajiv Ghose
Priya Ranjan
CHIEF IT OFFICER
Sudan PU
CHIEF GRAPHICS OFFICER
Mark Stiffle
COUNTRY MANAGER, CANADA
Shreya Mishra
REPRESENTATIVE PARTNER, AUSTRALIA
Rajanbir Singh
REPRESENTATIVE PARTNER, ISRAEL
Israel Vaserlauf
CIRCULATION INCHARGE
C Hemender
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Adm (R) Arun Prakash
Lt Gen (R) Balli Pawar
Lt Col (R) Rajiv Ghose
Lt Cdr (R) John Livingstone
T Srinivasan
Divya Srinivasa
Annette Livingstone
Views and opinions expressed in this magazine are
not necessarily those of Johnnette Publishers & Adventures, its
Publisher and/or Editor. We at Johnnette do our best to verify the
information published but do not take any responsibility for the
absolute accuracy of the information. Johnnette Publishers &
Adventures does not accept any decision taken by the readers
based on the information in this magazine. No part of this
magazine can be reproduced without the prior written permission
of the Publisher. Johnnette Publishers & Adventures reserves the

Unmannd Flying Machines is now having


representative partners from Israel and
Australia. We intend to reach out to every
individual interested in unmanned systems.
The battle to sell UAVs to the Indain Armed
Forces is on for many small players. Johnnette
Events with support from DRDO and USAI
(Unmanned Systems Association of India) is organising the second edition of
Unmanned Systems Conference & Exhibition India 2014 at Air Force Auditorium,
New Delhi on 18 & 19 Nov 2014. We hope to call as many decision makers as
possible to show them the changing technology in the industry by the user
applications in turn providing the right platform for OEMs.

Annette Livingstone
CEO & Editor
FORM IV
Statement about ownership and other particulars about
newspaper to be published in the first issue every year after
the last day of February:
1. Place of publication: Johnnette Publishers & Adventures, C/O
Parth Offset, 40, Center Point Market, Near SBI Bank,
Porbandar, Gujarat
2. Periodicity of its publication: Bi Monthly
3. Printer's Name: Annette Livingstone, Nationality: Indian
Address: Johnnette Publishers & Adventures, C/O Parth Offset,
40, Center Point Market, Near SBI Bank, Porbandar, Gujarat
4. Publisher's Name: Annette Livingstone, Nationality: Indian
Address: Johnnette Publishers & Adventures, C/O Parth Offset,
40, Center Point Market, Near SBI Bank, Porbandar, Gujarat
5. Editor's Name: Annette Livingstone, Nationality: Indian
Address: Johnnette Publishers & Adventures, C/O Parth Offset,
40, Center Point Market, Near SBI Bank, Porbandar, Gujarat
I, Annette Livingstone, hereby declare that the particulars
given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
xxxxxxxxxxx
Signature of Publisher

right to use the information published herein in any manner


whatsoever.

Corporate Office
Johnnette Media & Events
1475, I-2 Tower, Gaur Grandeur, Sector 119,
Noida 201301, Uttar Pradesh, India
+91 8527969977, 0120-6710475
Canada
Shreya Mishra
Editorial Member & Country Manager
Tel: +647 771 9954
Israel
Israel Vaserlauf
Representative Partner
+972 52 5838944
Australia
Rajanbir Singh
Representative Partner
+61 43 4191343
All images UFM/Authorised Sources
Send your contributions and articles to
contact@johnnette.in
jl@johnnette.in
www.johnnette.in

JOHNNETTE

Printed and published by Annette


Livingstone on behalf of Johnnette Publishers &
Adventures. Printed at Parth offset, 40 Center
point market, near SBI bank, MG road, Porbandar ,
Gujarat. Published at Johnnette Publishers &
Adventures, C/O Parth offset, 40 Center point
market, near SBI bank, MG road, Porbandar ,
Gujarat. Editor: Annette Livingstone

CONTENTS
C O N T E N T S

06

JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN THE EMERGING


UAS MARKET

13

UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES AND


FUTURE TRENDS

16

LDRA ACADEMIC ALLIANCE PROGRAM

18
22

INTERVIEW WITH CONTROP PRECISION


TECHNOLOGIES

26

UNMANNEDPRENEUR

36
44

INTERVIEW WITH ASTERIA AEROSPACE

16

INDIAS FUTURE MARITIME FORCE

18

HOW TATAs BAGGED ARMYS LARGEST


MINI UAV ORDER

26

INSIGHTS 9
NEWS 10, 41
EVENTS 46

30

DEFEXPO

2014

Unmanned Systems Review

+1 541 387 2120


info.cct@utas.utc.com
Learn more at:
www.cloudcaptech.com/SWaP

UAV pr

ofession

als

in the Emerging UAS Market


Lt Col (R) Rajiv Ghose

he growing importance of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),


or what is being reclassified and accepted as unmanned
aircraft systems (UAS), is producing new job opportunities
across the world. The exact numbers cannot be predicted but
in a country like the United States of America, the largest user
of the unmanned systems, the job potential market has been estimated is
approximately 23,000 jobs over the next 12-15 years. This is expected to
increase and worldwide as the systems enter the civilian realm.
Over the last decade UAS have become a critical component in military
operations. This has been witnessed overtly first in Iraq and then in
Afghanistan. They were utilised mainly in combat roles targeting
suspected militants or as surveillance vehicles giving real-time
intelligence to operational command centres.

Unmanned systems are fast becoming an important part of the U.S. and
World economy. For unmanned aircraft systems alone, the Teal Group
predicts the worldwide market will total an average of $9 Billion per
year for the next 10 years. Additionally, Wintergreen Research predicts
the total market will be $51 Billion by 2018. Civil aviation rules and
laws are being amended to integrate civil aircraft with military,
commercial and civil UAV operations. The demand will be largely
driven by the U.S. government but requirements also will be accelerated
by other countries including emerging economies.
UAS are also increasingly appearing for internal security and varied
other domestic uses that are expected to increase in the coming years.
For the last several years they have been put in use to spot illegal
immigrants, drug smugglers and terrorists attempting to cross borders. In
the domestic market internal law enforcement agencies are the most
likely customers. So, to say that these agencies will also require
technically qualified personnel to take care of the systems they acquire.
Domestic use of UAS gets severely limited due to genuine concerns that
they are not sufficiently capable of avoiding collisions with manned
aircraft. Governments are working towards new regulations for use of
airspace by unmanned aircraft and this will provide for companies to
operate commercially in a large and untapped market. UAS could also
be used for a number of jobs other than surveillance.
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The driving factors behind UAS jobs that can be seen as


coming in the domain of internal security, survey and
inspection, and communications besides military uses are:
Police will need routine surveillance
Commercial / residential real estate marketing
TV News Stations
Meteorologists
Agriculture and farming
Public utility companies
Gas and oil pipeline companies
Cinema and films
Parks & Recreation

...The indirect
and induced
impacts of UAV
spending will
also be widely
felt throughout
the economy...

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The industries require UAS pilots, sensor


operators and mechanics both for
employment and at training centres.
There will also be a huge requirement for
UAS analysts, program managers, and
designers. All said and done when UAS
get integrated with the national airspace
system the job growth will be spurred and
a forecast economic impact of
approximately $13.6 billion by 2019.
A study performed by the Association for
U n m a n n e d Ve h i c l e S y s t e m s
International forecasts that during the
first decade following integration more
than 100,000 new jobs will be created.
And, by that forecast, the total economic
impact of the segment, which includes
new manufacturing, maintenance,
operation, sales, support and other
positions, could reach $80-90 billion by
2025. But while the growing industry will
be adding to the overall workforce, the
segment might also be changing the
employment landscape for people
seeking professional positions. The
primary segment will need pilots. But
what kind of pilots? First, the role of an
UAS pilot may be significantly different
from that of traditional pilots who fly
aircraft today. Some industry observers
believe it's most likely that UAS
operators to have experienced pilots who
have also flown in the cockpit
demonstrated in the form of a
commercial and instrument flight
certificate before they are allowed to
operate unmanned aircraft. There are a
multiple, sometimes conflicting factors
to be considered. However, the above
condition is not a mandatory and can be
an additional qualification that improves
the acceptability and candidature.
Though it is very difficult to predict as to
how many good and paying jobs can be
created in a particular industry, it is,
however, certain that only niche jobs will
exist in the business of UAS. An estimate
of the salary structure in various
segments of UAS job market has been
given in the Figure 1. There are various
categories of jobs that one can find in the
business of UAS besides being a pilot.
Consultants are few and hit the top
category in compensation packages.
Systems engineers, payload operators,
imagery analysts, maintenance
specialists, qualified personnel in
manufacturing besides instructors and
trainers are the broad categories that one
may look forward to finding their place in
the forthcoming booming segment of
UAS market.

Figure 1.Salary Structure in the UAS job market

...Some industry
observers believe it's
most likely that UAS
operators to have
experienced pilots who
have also flown in the
cockpit demonstrated
in the form of a
commercial and
instrument flight
certificate before they
are allowed to operate
unmanned aircraft...
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The indirect and induced impacts of UAV spending will also be widely felt
throughout the economy. The top 25 industry and service sectors indirectly
influenced by UAV contract activities in a region have been listed in Table A
below.

Table A. Top 25 Industry sectors impacted indirectly by UAS production

UAV JOBS IN INDIA


According to Frost & Sullivan analysts, successful utilization of unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAV) in the Kashmir region, coupled with Indias aviation industry boom, is expected to
provide UAV development programs the necessary foundation to succeed in the immediate
future. Indias UAV market has been idle in the last two decades and has not followed up on the
earlier successes of indigenous UAVs. Hence, the government has targeted a few areas in the
Indian armed forces that need modernization. The introduction of UAVs is one of the first steps
taken in this direction. In the future, the utilization of UAVs in Indias military is expected to
eventually spillover to commercial industries as well. "UAV technologies are expected to reshape national defense strategies and policies, and are currently being tested in real-world
situations by the Indian armed forces," says the analyst of this research service. "Early test
results have proven that this technology will be very useful and successful in different types of
operations." In addition, maritime operations, as well as surveillance and reconnaissance
operations in India are boosting the demand for medium altitude long endurance UAV (MALE
UAVs) and tactical UAV (TUAVs).
Indias Lack of Focus and Technological Capabilities Drives the Need for a Concerted
Framework for Current and Future UAV Development Programs. "For several years, the lack
of technology development capabilities has dogged Indias UAV programs," notes the analyst.
"Hence, several institutions have been set up by the government to focus exclusively on UAV
developments." Moreover, the lack of focus on Indias UAV development has resulted in
delayed and cancelled development programs. To overcome this and become a major
participant in the Asia Pacific UAV industry, government-linked organizations have been set
up to provide a concerted framework for current and future development programs." The
Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is one such institution that assists
India to be self-reliant in terms of UAV technology. In view of Indias extensive use of the UAV
technology, the countrys armed forces are expected to be well equipped. In addition, India is
likely to require non-domestic partnerships in the immediate future to proceed with
indigenous research and development.
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Thus in addition, the combined


payroll of UAS production and
suppliers will have the potential
to generate an approximate
additional $590 million in
economic activity throughout the
region where UAS
manufacturing and use takes
place. There would be other
industries that would be further
impacted by the spending of the
wages earned in the UAS job
market. It is important to define
in both wages and jobs that UAS
manufacturing is similar to
manned aircraft manufacturing
life cycle development, which
consists of concept, research and
development, design, and
testing, to physical
manufacturing, production,
maintenance, and servicing.
Each section of the work product
may end at some point as
technology evolves, but other
sections will continue to live on
and give birth to new innovations
and consequently new job
opportunities.
To conclude, job opportunities
will clearly depend on the
production and usage of UAS in
the world. UAVs are now in
service in more than 50
countries. During 2007 itself,
these aircraft logged more than
500,000 flight hours, and exact
figures are not available but have
been climbing at a logarithmic
rate. There are, in fact, thousands
of different aircraft in various
stages of design, development or
production, so it's difficult to pin
exact numbers on a market map
that is still unfolding. Aviation
analysts at The Teal Group
(Washington, D.C.) estimate that
the UAV market will account for
$51 billion in total R&D and
procurement spending by 2018,
compared with about $3.4 billion
today. In terms of UAV
procurement, the largest share of
the market goes to the U.S. as
stated above (64 percent). The
Asia-Pacific region accounts for
20 percent. European and NATO
requirements account for the
remaining 16 percent.

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UAV MARKET BOOM


IN INDIA

Lt Cdr (R) John Livingstone, President - Unmanned Systems Association of India

ndian army was the first to induct UAVs in India.


Successful operations in the Army inspired the
Indian Air Force to induct for its unmanned flying
operations and this led the Indian Navy to carryout
maritime operations with UAVs operating off the
Indian coasts. All the three forces inducted
Searcher MK II and Herons in the country from the early
90s to the late 90s.

DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation)


recently has set up a new testing facility near Chitradurga in
Karnataka for unmanned air vehicles. This will be the first
in India to have a testing center for UAVs with setting up
costs being more than $2 million. Presently DRDO has
developed two UAVs, Nishant and Lakshya. Both are into
production now and
Nishant capable of
flying both in day and
night is being upgraded
for an improved version
of its kind. With the
success of these two
U AV s D R D O i s
embarking the flight of
M A L E U AV s .
RUSTOM is the next big
thing in DRDO which is
a medium altitude long
endurance UAV with an
endurance of about 24
hours and a ceiling of
35,000 ft. The Rustom
display at the recent DEFEXPO 2014 at New Delhi was a
big attraction with in the unmanned systems segment. I am
sure to see the indigenous UCAV very soon at one of events
to come in the near future.So far in the country the biggest
supplier had been IAI MALAT from Israel. Two companies
in India are focusing strongly on the UAV market in India.
Speck Systems India in collaboration with a French
company and Tata Advanced Systems in consultation with
DRDO are working on various projects to meet the Indian
requirements especially for the armed forces. The recent
contract award to Tata Advanced Systems is a milestone for
indegenous UAV sales in India. Both the companies are
focusing on the full spectrum of unmanned platforms
including Tactical, MALE, HALE, Rotorcraft and Fan craft
for multiple applications. If they succeed in their projects
and if the Indian armed forces contract with more and

more Indian companies, then probably our country can save


millions of rupees. Even in the hobby sector many Indian
aeromodel manufacturers are making progress by selling the
models at cheaper costs compared to a decade before when
many Indian hobbyists had to import aeromodels at higher
prices.
It's a new dimension for the aviation industry with the
success of UAVs in the past two decades. Future UAVs will
be capable of doing things what manned aircraft are doing
today. Today's pilots switch to autopilot just 30 minutes after
takeoff and takeover 30 minutes before they land. In bad
weather and critical conditions pilots do land on autopilots
and that has proved safer in many cases. With ATOL
(Automatic Take Off and Landing) proven for many UAVs
t h e
c a r g o
transportation can be
done just with no
humans in the flight.
T h o u g h t h e
affordability factor
may drag the process
for long but there is
nothing as precious
as human life in this
world.
Therefore the
market for UAVs has
been growing rapidly
in India. And another
reason why many
manufacturers are focusing on UAVs is because these
Unmanned Ariel Vehicles can, apart from military
applications, be used in many commercial applications. They
can be used by the forest department, police department,
disaster management department, meteorological
department and can also be used for many commercial
requirements. India being a large country with a larger
population, the usage of UAVs will be on the higher end to
create a large market. The next big thing in the aviation sector
in India would be UAVs. By the year 2020 India will be
flying more UAVs than manned aircraft by saving many lives
and many rupees.

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SCHIEBEL CAMCOPTER S-100 WINS


CONTRACT WITH THE ITALIAN NAVY

The Italian Navy has selected the CAMCOPTER S-100


UAS (Unmanned Air System) to provide support for its fleet,
making it the first European Navy that has S-100 in operational
use.
The CAMCOPTER S-100 has already proven efficient to the
Italian Navy as it was the first UAS ever to fly from an Italian
ship, the ITS Bersagliere a Soldati Class frigate in April 2012.
Being the UAS of choice, the unmanned helicopter will provide
its increased operational ability to Italian Navy Commanders
once again. The signed contract includes a system, training,
integration and spare parts. With minimal physical, logistics and
manpower footprint, the S-100 is especially effective at sea. The
system will provide unique degrees of flexibility, versatility and
persistence on board of Italian Navy ships employed in antipiracy missions.
Hans Georg Schiebel, Chairman of the Schiebel Group of
companies said, The CAMCOPTER S-100 continues to be a
proven and highly sought after asset in maritime
operations. Its ability to extend a ship commanders visible and
electronic horizon to beyond what is conventionally possible is
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a powerful instrument that helps to counter possible threats,


secure routes and control recourses at less operational cost.
This quality has already garnered the interest of several global
navies where the S-100s robust nature has proven effective,
particularly in the unforgiving maritime environment.
Mounted with a Wescam MX-10 and a Shine Micro AIS
(Automatic Identification System), the CAMCOPTER S-100
has the capability to collect time-critical data during
uninterrupted periods of up to 6 hours, and can hover, which
provides decision makers with a flexible unique means of
collecting and disseminating information. Additionally, the
S-100 will be mounted with a Schiebel-designed harpoon
system, which supports takeoff and landing in conditions up to
Sea State 5.

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Tamil Nadu
police use UAV
in murder
probe

India acquires eyes in the


sky with drones
By S Srinivasan

By TOI

The Tamil Nadu police are


believed to be the first force in
the country to use an unmanned
aerial vehicle in a murder
investigation. It used a drone to
inspect the area where a 23-yearold software engineer with Tata
Consultancy Services was found
murdered in Siruseri along the
city's IT Corridor.
The CB-CID conducted sorties
with an unmanned aerial vehicle
over the scene of crime a
largely inaccessible area covered
in thick brush looking for
clues to solve the slaying of Uma
Maheswari. Investigators
discovered the techie's body nine
days after she went missing from
her office on February 13, barely
200 metres from the TCS
facility.
Investigators said they would use
footage from the drones to
search for evidence left behind
by Uma's killers and make a 3D
image of the location to help
reconstruct the crime scene.

Israel drone
crashes in Gaza
The Al-Rai news agency, run by
the territory's Islamist rulers,
Hamas, said the drone came
down east of the southern city of
Khan Yunis on 10 March.
Hamas's armed wing, the
Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades,
said its fighters had retrieved the
drone. The incident was
followed by an Israeli air strike,
also east of Khan Yunis, which
killed three Islamic Jihad
fighters, the militant group said.
It was unclear if the two
incidents were related.

Indian security forces are increasingly using many types of UAVs for crowd and traffic
management, surveillance, disaster relief, and now for tiger hunts and crime investigation. Ankit
Mehta, chief executive officer of IdeaForge, a start-up manufacturing UAVs, says the drones with
their cutting-edge technologies enhance the abilities of the state apparatus. "Trying to spot the
tigress is like trying to find a needle in the haystack," Mehta points out. The area where the tigress
reportedly is spread across hundreds of square kilometres. "Scanning an area of 2km could itself
have otherwise taken two days," he says. We regularly use the UAVs for law and order
arrangements.
Aerial cameras mounted on the UAVs are scanning the region and relaying back images that are
being analysed in a laptop. That pinpointing the exact location of a moving target, like the tigress,
still remains difficult, is beside the point. But UAVs have in the recent past made impossible
missions in difficult terrain possible. In June 2013, rescue teams fell back on UAVs to locate
survivors after devastating floods and landslides swept the inhospitable terrains of Uttarakhand
state. The UAVS scoured 50 areas in the Himayalan foothills, 20 of which the rescuers had not been
able to reach. In July, police in Gujarat state employed UAVs to monitor pilgrims participating in
Jagannath Rath Yatra, a religious procession, in the city of Ahmedabad.
Police in the cities of Kolkata and Mumbai are also using the drones to keep an eye on millions who
gather every year for the immersion of deities during the popular Durga and Ganesh Chaturthi
festivals. "We regularly use the UAVs for law and order arrangements," says Mahesh Patil, a
spokesman of Mumbai police. In a nation where the police-population ratio is abysmal, India has an
average of one policeman for every 761 people as against the UN norm of one for 450, UAVs
become "force multipliers", admits one top officer.
Contraptions resembling helicopters and carrying a camera, the "multi-copters" - as they are also
called - are remotely controlled from the ground and can be made to zoom, pan and tilt. Mehta of
IdeaForge says UAVs usage in India is destined to grow manifold. "India has 1,000 battalions of
armed forces, 14,000 police stations and 2,000 fire stations and they are all our prospective clients."
Business has already exponentially grown for Mehta since he set up his firm some years ago with
two college mates. Today, he employs a staff of 35. "The business is profitable and has a huge
unexplored potential," he explains. Experts say the usage of UAVs has grown since India's financial
capital Mumbai came under co-ordinated attacks in November 2008, which left more than 160
people dead. Defence forces are now using them even for snow and avalanche studies. "As we
speak, a UAV is being used to hunt an adventure sports person who has gone missing near
Bangalore," points out Mehta.
A drone also kept an eye on spectators as the nation's cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar turned out to
play in Kolkata's Eden Gardens for his penultimate match, before retirement. Dr K Senthil Kumar,
an associate professor with Madras Institute of Technology, says drones are potential life savers. "It
can be deployed for transporting vital organs for transplantation from one hospital to another. A
harvested heart could be transported quickly without traffic hassles from one part of the city to
another," he says. Critics of drones in the western world say they are intrusive. But Indians share no
such inhibitions over the prying eyes as yet.
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DRDO to Hold Trials of UGVs


The Combat Vehicles Research & Development
Establishment (CVRDE), a DRDO lab based at
Avadi near Chennai, is warming up to take two of
its unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) for summer
trials in the next two months. The UGVs -- MuntraN designed for nuclear, biological and chemical
(NBC) reconnaissance and Muntra-M designed for
mine detection missions -- are currently undergoing
lab level trials at Avadi ahead of the summer trials.
The DRDO had exhibited Muntra-S, meant for
surveillance, during the DefExpo in 2012 and the
scientists say that the vehicle has already completed
the desert trials successfully. Muntra stands for
Mission Unmanned Tracked. Sanctioned with a
seed money of `60 crore in 2007, the project
consists of four vehicles, with three in the
unmanned role and the fourth one in a manned
mode (Muntra-B), doing the base control duties.
Muntra-B will be common for all missions
depending on the role. During the field trials,
Muntra-S operated at very high temperatures in
deserts. We tele-operated Muntra-S from a distance
of 5 km and it tracked a tank further at a distance of
12 km. The radar has an instrumented range of 18
km. During the trials, we undertook day and night
surveillance and tele-operated the vehicle back to
the base as well, Sivakumar said. Last year, the
CVRDE began the integration of Muntra-M and
Muntra-N with lab-level tests. The UGVs could
perform in tele-operated, autonomous and manned
modes.
To facilitate the operation of the UGVs from a
distance through wireless means, a drive-by-wire
system enables the control of the conventional
UGV engine by electronic means. The teleoperation system enables the base vehicle operator
to navigate the UGV with the help of optoelectronic sensors. Information about the obstacles
and other features around the UGV is gathered by
these sensors and this information is displayed at
the base vehicle on ergonomically designed display
systems.

By Anantha Krishnan M

IIT-K launches UAV


project for eye in air

By Vanitha Srivasthava

In an endeavour to improve countrys surveillance system, the Indian Institute


of Technology (IIT) Kanpur has launched a major initiative for designing and
building unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The three types of UAVs planned are
flapping wing, fixed wing and quadrotor. The applications envisaged are
surveillance, aerial photography and disaster management. One of the projects
aims at developing a small sized fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)
that could, in the future, be upgraded to a solar powered system. This will be
a fixed wing platform which will be designed in such a way that future
modifications can be easily incorporated. It will be easily modifiable in future
to a renewable energy based system, specifically solar powered, said Dr AK
Ghosh who is leading the fixed wing project. Additionally, flapping wing
micro/mini air vehicle research is an ongoing sponsored activity of the
Unsteady Aerodynamics Laboratory of the institute, supported by several
agencies. IIT Kanpur is supporting this activity towards building an
autonomous 1.5m flying bird which will carry a small camera as payload and
will be able to take pictures for surveillance, said Dr Debopam Das, project
leader.

Security forces in Bihar using unmanned aerial


vehicles to combat Maoists
By Zee Media Bureau

12 | Apr/May 2014 |

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Some of the districts in Bihar are one of worst Maoist-hit areas in the
country. Now, in order to combat the menace, security forces in the state
have started using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) so that security of those
who are in field operations is not compromised. Though this is the first time
that UAVs are being used in Bihar, it has been in use in other Naxal-affected
states like Chhatishgarh and Jharkhand. Some of the worst hit areas in Bihar
have been the districts of Gaya, Aurangabad and Jamui.
A senior police official was quoted by a news agency as saying that the
induction of UAVs would help in keeping an eye on Maoist movements in
their strongholds in North Bihar plains and forest areas in Southern Bihar.
He also said that it would minimise the chances of casualties of security
personnel who were involved in fighting the Naxals. The UAVs use Global
Positioning System (GPS) which helps in feeding real time location and
movement of Naxals. It also helps in picking up ground conversation and
movement. The real time images of the Maoists is passed on to the
commandos. It is also said that the UAVs would also help in detecting IEDs.

By Lt Gen (Retd) Balli Pawar

UNMANNED
AERIAL
VEHICLES
AND FUTURE TRENDS

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ntroduction
Modern warfare is
characterized by highly
mobile operations with
tactical scenario changing
rapidly and theatre of
operations becoming more and more
extensive. The advent of long range
weapon systems and mechanization
has extended the area of influence
much beyond the line sight of ground
based sensors. In such a scenario field
commanders require an organic,
responsive, economically viable, multi
source, long endurance, near real time
reconnaissance capability to collect,
process and report intelligence
throughout the level of conflict.
Additionally commanders need ability
to obtain data from anywhere within
enemy territory, day and night (24x7),
regardless of weather.
With the limitations of the ground
based surveillance and target
acquisition devices, aerial means are
gaining greater importance. Manned
aircrafts run a greater risk factor
because of introduction of
sophisticated fire control and missile
systems. In such a scenario the answer
lies in the use of Unmanned Aerial
Vehicles (UAV), with their inherent
characteristics to provide the
flexibility to operate in the enemy
battle space. UAVs are remotely
piloted or self piloted aircraft that can
carry cameras, sensors,
communication equipment, or other
payloads. They have been used in the
reconnaissance and intelligence
gathering role since 1950s and more
challenging roles are envisaged
including combat missions.
Unmanned vehicles are not impeded
by restraints imposed on manned
systems where both the aircraft and
crew could be lost. In fact they are
increasingly being employed for
missions that were hitherto the domain
of manned aircraft.
From the early use as target drones and
remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) the
U AV s w e r e e m p l o y e d f o r
reconnaissance purposes during the
Korean War by the USA and
subsequently as highly classified
special purpose aircraft during the
conflict in South East Asia. The
revolution in unmanned warfare has
been a long time coming and it got
further impetus ever since the Israelis
demonstrated how UAVs could be
14 | Apr/May 2014 |

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effectively used in operations in the


Yom Kippur war in 1973 and
subsequently in Lebanon. Interest in the
UAVs further intensified following their
successful employment on the
battlefield in Operations Desert Storm
and Enduring Freedom in Iraq- the
tactical and theatre level unmanned
aircraft alone had flown 100000 flight
hours in support of the above operations.
In Afghanistan the Global Hawk and
Predator UAVs have been used
extensively in carrying out all types of
missions both ISR and combat. The
United Nations and NATO activities in
former Yugoslavia also brought
international attention to the relevance
of UAVs on the battlefield. Today
technologically advanced militaries
across the world have incorporated
UAVs as a new critical component of
their inventory. While Israel and USA
have been the pioneers in UAV
development, today at least 14 countries
are using / developing over 76 different
types of UAVs for surveillance, target
acquisition, electronic warfare etc.
Employment Philosophy / Role
The basic employment philosophy of
UAV system is based on type of UAV, its
characteristics and the sensor package it
carries. The requirement of a UAV
system therefore is to satisfy
surveillance requirements in close
range, short range and endurance
categories. The close and short range
UAVs were subsequently classified as
tactical UAVs, designed to support field
commanders with near-real time
imagery intelligence in the tactical battle
space. Current military UAVs perform
reconnaissance as well as attack
missions. Though intelligence,
reconnaissance and surveillances
mission still remain the predominant
roles, other areas of employment include
electronic attack, strike missions,
suppression and / or destruction of
enemy air defence, network node or
communications relay and combat
search and rescue.
UAVs are often preferred for missions
that are too dull, dirty or dangerous for
manned aircraft. The concept of killer /
hunter UAVs for strike missions is a
reality in Afghanistan. The Predator
which is Medium Altitude Long
Endurance (MALE) UAV carries two
'hellfire' missiles. The Predator has been
extensively used by the US Forces for
strike mission against the Taliban and
Al-Queda Militants in Afghanistan and
Pakistan's tribal areas. Some of these

UAVs are being piloted for missions


in Iraq and Afghanistan from halfway
across the world in Nevada and
California more than 8000 miles from
the killing zone. The UAVs provide
real time video feeds to troops in Iraq
and Afghanistan that help in tracking
enemy movements. US air force
guides its Predators and High
Altitude Long Endurance (HALE)
Global Hawk UAVs which can stay
aloft for more than 20 hours watching
a battlefield. The vast majority of
roughly 1500 UAVs flying in Iraq and
Afghanistan are much smaller,
controlled by soldiers and marines.
The smallest is the 'Raven' about the
size of a large model airplane with a
wing span of three feet, which is
sometimes mistaken for a bird flying
high in the sky.
Employment of UAVs in Counter
Insurgency (CI) / Counter
Terrorism (CT) Operations.
CI/CT operations require timely,
responsive and accurate intelligence
to succeed and the UAV is the best
suited weapon platform for this task.
The UAV is capable of operating in a
permissive as well as non permissive
(within another countries sovereign
airspace) environment and with a
variety of sensors suitable for single
or multi mission operations. The
sensor can transmit information
based on detection, identification and
location of militant groups to
intelligence agencies or to
surveillances teams. UAVs could also
provide support to troops on the
ground during the operations in terms
of real time image or signal
intelligence via a secure downlink.
An armed UAV overhead could
provide timely on scene firepower, a
situation regularly being played out
in Afghanistan and tribal areas of
Pakistan.

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Experience of the US Army in Iraq


and Afghanistan and the expertise of
the Israeli defence forces of using
UAVs in conventional as well as non
conventional operations bring out
several valuable lessons which can be
suitably exploited in our present
CI/CT environment. Two of the most
important of these lessons are
'Complete Battlefield Dominance'
and 'Closing Sensor to Shooter Loop'.
This involves establishing a
continuous surveillance grid of the
area of interest duly integrated with
the forces on the ground fighting
CI/CT operations, thereby
establishing a system capable of
disseminating this intelligence to
more than one user in real time for its
timely and efficient exploitation. The
success of OP GERONIMO to get
Osama Bin Laden is clearly
illustrative of this factor. However,
our CI/CT environment differs from
experiences of other countries in
terms of terrain, vastness of area,
limited availability of UAV resources
and their capabilities. Hence it is not
possible to achieve similar results in
terms of both coverage as well as
technological capabilities in near real
time frame to the end user.
Nonetheless UAVs from the available
resources are being used extensively
in ISR roles for CI/CT operations
including in the Naxal infected areas.

...The increasing
demand and reliance on
UAVs in war fighting
and peace keeping
operations has doubled
the pace of UAV related
research and
development in recent
years...
UAVs in India
Successful use of UAVs mostly in the
Asian region has generated the interest of
many countries. China and Pakistan are
adding UAVs of various capabilities to
their armed forces and have expressed
interests in developing and procuring
UAVs with enhanced capabilities,
including armed versions. During the last
couple of years China has unveiled more
than 25 different models of UAVs,
prominent among them being the WJ600
combat UAV. The WJ600 is said to be
capable of carrying several missiles. India
has also not been left out of the Global
UAV push and a major thrust of its armed
forces modernization plans include
augmenting their meager UAV resources.

Presently the Indian Air Force and


Army operate Israeli Searcher II
tactical UAV and Heron (MALE)
UAVs- the Navy is also in the process
of acquiring some of these UAVs.
India has also developed a smaller
UAV, the Nishant (catapult launch
and parachute recovery) which has
already entered service with the Army
and is operational. In addition, India
is undertaking a development
program for a UAV in the Heron /
Predator class of MALE UAVs,
called the 'Rustom'. The Rustom will
be 1100 1300 Kg UAV, with a
maximum altitude of 35000 feet and
range of 300 Km. The state run
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
(HAL) along with Bharat Electronics
are slated to design and build this
UAV. However, India's most prized
indigenous drone programme is the
development of the Autonomous
Unmanned Research Aircraft
(AURA). In a major decision the
DRDO is moving towards the
development the AURO Unmanned
Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV)
which will be a high speed stealth
UCAV, capable of autonomously
seeking, identifying and destroying
targets firing missiles, bombs and
precision guided munitions- the first
flight is expected in 2015 which in the
present environment looks far
...Continued in page 39
fetched.

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LDRA Academic Alliance Program (LAAP)


By Divya Srinivasa

Launched to Bridge the Skill Gap


within the Aerospace Industry

DRA, the leading


provider of safetycritical software
verification and
c o m p l i a n c e
management tools for
the past 40 years has launched their
academic initiative called LDRA
Academic Alliance Program. LAAP is
designed to cater for the growing
demand for embedded software
experts in the aerospace, defence,
automotive, industrial and medical
domains.
The LAAP was launched at a recent
LDRA academic seminar titled
Providing Expertise for a Safer
Tomorrow. The seminar was held in
Bangalore on the 2 April 2014 and was
delivered by Dr. Michael Hennell, the
founder of LDRA and a renowned
intellectual in the field of safetycritical software development.
After 23 years as a professor at the
University of Liverpool Dr. Hennell
founded LDRA and was the principal
architect of the LDRA tool suite. He
continues to guide the development of
LDRA technology and services in his
current position as Technical Director.
Dr. Hennell actively participates on
both the MISRA C and C++
committees as well as the international
committee that developed the new
avionics software standard, DO-178C.
He has committed more than 40 years
to developing and promoting cuttingedge software testing and development
processes to enhance software quality
and reliability.

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During the launch of LAAP Dr.


Hennell shared his views on how
a comprehensive embedded
curriculum evolves globally
and nurtures industry ready
engineers. He explained how
hands-on training plays a
major role in the embedded
software industry and this
training should start from the
classroom level to build
employable skills in pupils.
Academies and industries should
come together to bridge the skill
gap currently present in the
Indian market
commented
Hennell.
A shortage of
skill-based
employees has
been hindering
the growth of the
Indian aerospace
i n d u s t r y.
Aspiring youths appear to lack
vocational skills and have to go
through extensive training to comply
with the high industry standard.
A significant reason for this skill-gap
is the absence of collaboration
between policy makers, industry and
academia. There is an urgent need for
superior training and infrastructure
development within the education
sector to create and support huge
emerging employment opportunities
in the aerospace and Unmanned Arial
Vehicle (UAV) domains.

Dr Michael Hennel, Founder LDRA

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The National Skill Development Council


(NSDC), a body that promotes vocational
education to address the industry's
requirements of skilled manpower, has
a l r e a d y
identified this
situation and
is forming a
S k i l l
Development
Council for
the national
aerospace and
aviation
industry. With this effort NSDC aims to
increase the role of the private sector in
vocational education.
Policy makers have made their move creating
an opportunity for industry and academia to
come together. Aerospace and avionic
industries have become aware that students
from institutions do not have the appropriate
skill sets required from critical professionals.
In the past few years it is clear that there has
been a wide mismatch between student
aspirations and the Indian job market. This
forthcoming industry scenario forms a
responsibility for both industry pioneers and
academics in our country to educate
academics with specialised, market required
skills. This joint venture with academic
institutions and special-skilled companies,
such as LDRA, promises a better future for
young talent and will create skilled employees
for fast growing safety-critical industries.
This innovative program will help remove
problems that the Indian IT industry is facing
at present in terms of job availability and
required skills.
LDRA conducted a survey with customers to
identify and understand the required skills for
qualified software safety and security
professionals. The survey demonstrated that
knowledge of software engineering concepts,
coding standards such as MISRA C/C++,
verification and validation methodologies and
safety standards and guidelines such as DO178B/C, are essential. These findings show
that genuine engineering skills are required to
make safe products in a wide range of
industries.

Some of the LAAP activities include


Assistance in enhancing the curriculum
Supporting Faculty Development Programs (FDP)
Assistance in setting up process and methodology labs with LDRA
tools
Providing networking opportunities for faculties with our clients
and like minded industry players
Providing workshops, seminars, webinars and on demand videos
Introducing partners who can run short term courses in campuses
Providing a pool of industry experts who can enhance the efforts of
faculties in campuses
Supporting collaboration with our clients and all other like minded
industry and professional bodies and govt. agencies

Once applications have been approved, participants will be involved


with relevant LDRA events, seminars and subsidised training
programs carried out on the latest safety tools and standards. These
events will be a huge arena for faculties to learn from industry experts
about upcoming industry scenarios, new developments in LDRA tools
as well as for networking with industry contacts, ultimately leading to
better opportunities for students.
With this initiative, LDRA will advocate specialised training with a
focus on international safety standards and testing methodologies
using LDRA tools. LDRA India Director, Shinto Joseph concludes,
Let us partner together to provide expertise for a safer tomorrow.

In consideration of the survey finding, the


LAAP (LDRA Academic Alliance Program)
is designed to benefit engineering students,
developers and software safety experts who
wish to become familiar with the latest source
code analysis techniques and methodologies.
Gaining specialised knowledge in this domain
offers career opportunities in the safety and
security industry.
17 | Apr/May 2014 |

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Dror Sharon
CEO, Controp Precision Technologies

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Controp Precision Technologies is an advanced technology


company focused on developing EO/IR payloads to meet
the rapidly growing need of unmanned technology. John
Livingstone, Managing Director, Johnnette had an exclusive
interview with Controps CEO Dror Sharon at DEFEXPO
2014 in New Delhi. He tells us about Controps plans and
challenges in the unmanned systems industry.
Dror, tell us about CONTROP, its origin, its present
and future product lines.
CONTROP is a 25 year old company which was
established in 1983 in Israel and focuses on electro
optical systems, known in the industry as EO/IR.
Controp specializes in technologies with different
spectral bands: visible, near infra-red, short
wave, mid wave and long wave. CONTROP
cameras are manufactured at our
factory in Israel. CONTROP has
several core competencies
including continuous zoom
thermal optics, which we use in
the design and manufacturing
of our thermal imaging
cameras, and gyro
stabilisation, which is
exemplified in our gyro
stabilised payloads.
In recent years, CONTROP
scientists developed the
STAMP line of state-of-theart miniature 3 axis gyrostabilised camera payloads for
small UAVs. We design all of
our camera payload products
to be very small in size and
weight and very low on power
consumption, but very high in
optical capability. So, when
CONTROP products are
compared to those of our
competition, they are compressed
in size yet superior in
performance. The company
products are focused on different areas
of the market, i.e. airborne, naval and ground
applications, armoured vehicles and homeland security
markets.
Any plans on making UAVs?
No, Controp is only concentrating on payloads. We don't
have any reason to compete with our customers nor will
we be interfering with our customers' products. We are
focusing on giving our customers the best optics
solutions in the market.
How have been your experiences working with the
Asian companies to expand your business?
We are working a lot in Asia and in

many countries. We have been working for the last 10


years in India, growing our business year over year. To
work in India is a bit difficult in terms of investment. You
have to invest a lot before getting anywhere in the market.
It is not easy for companies to enter the Indian market.
What challenges have you been facing to
penetrate into the Indian market, apart from
the investment side? How is the
bureaucracy?
When manufacturing in the Indian
market, you are required to have
local content. You can hold some
partnership with local
companies but only 26% to the
foreign companies and the local
companies with 74%. This
makes it difficult for foreign
companies who are looking at
protecting their IP before
sharing it with the Indian
companies. If it were
permissible to have a 50-50 JV,
owning and managing only
50% by each partner then I
believe it would be much easier
for all concerned.
Your USP?
As I mentioned before,
CONTROP is a technology based
company. We specialize in stateof-the-art EO/IR technology. We
are investing all the time in
developing new technologies, be it
optics for our cameras or longer ranges,
better stabilisation and much more. We are
constantly increasing and improving our technology to
take it one step further and continue to provide cutting edge
technology to our customers.
You mean to say your technology beats your competitors.
Yes, technology itself is our co competitor.
So, do you have other products apart from the imaging
line?
No, we are focusing only on imaging and everything
connected to imaging especially electro optical stabilized
devices.
19 | Apr/May 2014 |

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Controps SPEED-A on
Skystar Aerostat

What is Controp's vision?


To continue to be the leader in the
market. Improving our sophisticated
products. Reduce the weight and size
of camera payloads for UAVs and at
the same time increase the optical
capability.
Tell us more about the unmanned
systems market growth in Israel and
its impact on the rest of the world.
The UAV market is growing rapidly all
over the world. I think it's one of the
fastest growing markets in the defence
arena. It is divided into two different
segments. One is flying above the
cloud level and the other is flying
below cloud level. We are strong at
both ends, but concentrating more on
the lower level segment with high
quality and very unique systems. And
the competition there is still low
because to get a payload which is
stabilised with high optical
performance and low power
consumption, meeting the low level
flying of a UAV, is a challenge. We are
a world leader in this arena, of course
outside the US and in some places of
the US as well.
Apart from your company what are
the other companies especially from
the imaging solutions in Israel are at
competition with you?
We are working with but also
competing with IAI and Elbit in Israel,
but both of them are not in the market
niche of small UAVs and payloads. We
are on our own.

...CONTROP has several core


competencies including continuous
zoom thermal optics, which we use in
the design and manufacturing of our
thermal imaging cameras, and gyro
stabilisation, which is exemplified in
our gyro stabilised payloads...

Have you made any sales so far in


India?
Yes we have, but I won't be able to
mention their names. We have sales
every year in India.
Finally Dror tell us what are your
future plans for Controp exclusively
for India.
We are looking now for partners in
India to work with. We are looking at
increasing our ability over here and do
part of manufacturing here.

20 | Apr/May 2014 |

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INDIA'S
FUTURE
MARITIME
FORCE

By Admiral (Retd) Arun Prakash


former Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy

f the 1971 war was the navy's baptism by


fire, the 2004 tsunami was a defining
moment which established the IN as a
regional force of substance and resolve. The
alacrity and professionalism, with which the
IN brought succour to our distressed Sri
Lankan, Maldivian and Indonesian neighbours, left an
abiding impression on international observers. The
sea-lift operation mounted to evacuate refugees from
war torn Lebanon in 2006 and Libya in 2011, and the
resolute conduct of anti-piracy operations in the Gulf
of Aden by IN units has further added lustre to our
navy's image.
The IN considers itself the inheritor of a hoary Indian
maritime tradition, which harks back to the founding
of India's cultural empire in the fabled
Suvarnabhumi of SE Asia in the 3rd/4th century CE,
and which later saw naval heroes like the Zamorins of
Calicut, Kunjali Marakkar and Kanhoji Angre waging
determined struggles against foreign interlopers. This
has inspired the Service to nurture a long-term vision,
not always shared by the Establishment, of itself as a
blue-water regional force and it has assiduously
planned its force-architecture while establishing the
requisite intellectual underpinning.

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India's long coastline studded with deepwater ports, a well-endowed EEZ,


peninsular configuration, as well as its
burgeoning economy, reliant on seaborne
trade and energy, makes it as dependent on
the seas as any island nation. One telling
example illustrates this: India's industrial,
power and transport sectors consume 3.1
million barrels of oil per day, of which 2.2
million is imported from overseas. This
requires that at least one Supertanker (or
2-3 smaller tankers) must discharge cargo
in an Indian oil terminal every single day
of the year. Disruption of this seaborne oil
supply, due to any reason, could have
serious consequences on industry,
agriculture and the economy. It is in this
context that threats such as those posed by
Somalian pirates give cause for unease.
Apart from its vital role of protecting the
nation's trade and energy, the IN provides
a most useful trans-national military
capability which can be deployed for crisis
management, deterrence and powerprojection; anywhere from the Horn of
Africa to the South China Sea. Conflicts
are rare; and this capability is used, in
peacetime, to ensure good order at sea
while fostering friendship, cooperation
and interoperability with maritime
neighbours. Unlike other Services, navies
are fortunate in having a serious peacetime
role to discharge because the oceans make
neighbours of distant nations. While the
Foreign Service forms the front-line of our
international interface, the IN can form a
very useful second-line, given diplomats
of vision and imagination.
Foreign co-operation in the maritime
context has wide connotations. Countries
in our immediate neighbourhood, many of
them island nations, seek maritime
security; sometimes through direct naval
presence, but more often through urgent
requests for material aid, training
assistance and advice. The slow pace of
decision-making in the MoD, and often
MEA, has served to stall many naval
initiatives and driven potential allies into
the arms of other donors of assistance.
Making long term plans for foreign cooperation with our immediate maritime
neighbours, will pay great dividends in the
long term.
In a great leap of faith fifty years ago, the
IN decided to become a builder's navy
and placed its destiny in the hands of
public sector shipyards where India's
future maritime force is now being built.
This faith has not always been
24 | Apr/May 2014 |

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...In a great
leap of faith
fifty years
ago, the IN
decided to
become a
builder's
navy and
placed its
destiny in
the hands of
public
sector
shipyards
where
India's
future
maritime
force is now
being built...

justified, because these shipyards suffer from


outdated infrastructure as well as poor workculture, and their sluggish productivity is
jeopardizing the navy's modernization plans.
Infusion of innovative private-sector business
and production practices, through jointventures, is an option that may offer
deliverance and needs to be tried.
Focussing on capabilities rather than numbers,
and relying on force-multipliers such as high
quality weapons, sensors, and networking, the
navy envisages task-forces built around two
aircraft-carriers, along with an adequate
number of destroyers and frigates, sustained by
logistic ships and supported by a capable
aviation arm.
Restoration of our badly depleted diesel
submarine force is being planned, albeit
belatedly, by a series of home-built boats of
suitable design. However, the 'game changer'
of the future maritime battle-space will not be
the aircraft carrier or a surface combatant but
the missile armed nuclear attack submarine
(SSN) which can interdict shipping with
impunity. Our first nuclear-powered submarine
the Arihant, launched in 2009, is armed with
ballistic-missiles and is designated a SSBN.
While Arihant (and sisters) will form the third
leg of India's secretive nuclear triad, if we
desire to wield influence in the Indian Ocean,
we need to plan a small force of SSNs.
Many other contours of India's 21st century
navy are already emerging: India's first
indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was
recently commissioned in Kochi, and eight
stealth frigates, six diesel submarines and 30
other warships, awaited from shipyards, will
take the IN to the front ranks of navies.
Indigenous effort is being pragmatically
supplemented by judicious imports. Two new
tankers were recently received from Italy, and
the refurbished Russian aircraft-carrier
Admiral Gorshkov or INS Vikramaditya
recently entered the Indian waters. Eight US
built P-8 (I) maritime reconnaissance aircraft
and 45 Russian MiG-29 (K) fighters will add
teeth to the air arm.
The IN finds itself in a peculiar situation where
weapons, such as the BrahMos missile, far outrange the detection capability of its sensors. As
the 2008 Mumbai terror strikes demonstrated,
whether in war or in peace, it is imperative to
know who is plying in our waters or
approaching our shores. In operational
situations, the Commander at sea, with 3dimensional forces scattered over a vast area,
will need to locate and identify the enemy
before destroying him. In other words he needs
Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA).

The indigenous new INS Vikrant

Intense maritime activity in the Indian


Ocean and the huge area that has to be
kept under surveillance requires
substantial maritime reconnaissance
and anti-submarine warfare
capabilities. The expected advent of the
PLA Navy, especially its nuclear
submarines, into the Indian Ocean will
lend urgency to the maritime domain
awareness (MDA) task. The IN has
evolved a multi layered surveillance
capability with deployment of taskoptimised aircraft, as well as unmanned
aerial vehicles (UAVs) for each layer.
Presently we are carrying out unmanned
surveillance using the contemporary
Heron and Searcher MK II UAVs, and it
is time to induct more advanced UAVs.
The Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle
should be soon inducted to meet the
unprecedented situations within the
Indian waters. Rustom II that was
recently displayed at DEFEXPO 2014
will be a mile stone once it is operational
in the armed forces.

In such a scenario, integration of


information through networking
assumes crucial importance. This
entails the pooling of information
available to widely dispersed
platforms, through a geo-stationary
satellite, and its fusion, for real time
availability to any unit which needs it.
This junction of the Maritime, Space
and Cyber domains is now being
referred to as the extended
Commons. All three Services need
awareness in their particular domains,
and have a vital and overlapping stake
in the extended Commons. However
single-Service initiatives would not
merely be imprudent and wasteful but
also counter-productive during combat
operations when networks would need
to 'talk' to each other. This domain
offers fertile ground for a bold
initiative for Jointness or integration,
which will receive a big boost by the
formation of a Joint Information
Warfare Command.

Finally, inspite of historical evidence,


we have given insufficient cognizance
to the potential of sea power as the
arbiter of India's destiny. Many factors,
including the growth of China's overall
influence and the rapidly evolving geopolitics of South and SE Asia will
demand adroit diplomacy to avoid
confrontations. But diplomacy, unless
backed by credible security policies, is
unlikely to be effective. If the military
equation along our Himalayan borders
is going to be unfavourable or evenly
matched, the Indian Ocean would be
the arena where we should seek a
reckoning. Given India's advantageous
geographic configuration, a capable
maritime force could play a decisive
role in any face-off.

UNMANNEDPEDIA
The Unmanned Systems Industry Global Directory

Order your copy now!


Send your details to
contact@johnnette.in
www.johnnette.in

JOHNNETTE

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unmannedpreneur
GM Ranga

RAO
GM Ranga Rao, Chairman &
Managing Director of RRG
Engineering Pvt Ltd is an outstanding
and dynamic entrepreneur with
successful ventures to his list. He
established companies that would
provide infrastructural services to
various telecom service providers. He
has now ventured into the UAV
industry. John Livingstone, Managing
Director - Johnnette had an exclusive
interview with him to know more on his
ventures and future plans on unmanned
systems.
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an you tell us about RRG?


RRG Engineering technologies is a company that was
established with the purpose of bridging the gap
between the existing solutions and technology that is
being deployed by various agencies in India and the
technology and solutions that are available in the market.

Can you tell us more on venturing with Scheibel?


We have been associated with Schiebel for now close to 4
years. We have had a very fruitful relationship with them so
far, they have been very understanding about the various
challenges that are unique to the Indian Market and not
comparing it with any other market and expecting miracles.

We always wanted to have a special emphasis on home-land


security, defence, disaster relief. We believed in being a
pioneer in an area or at least a niche player in the chosen area
rather than being an also ran, one thing we were always clear
was that we would not be a run-of-the-mill company offering
standard solutions to all problems.

That aside, the reason we associated with Schiebel is because


we genuinely believe that Camcopter S100 is the best
available platform in the Rotary Wing VTOL configuration
within its category and we again genuinely believe that there
is a significant market for the said capabilities in India.

Was this your first venture?


No, RRG is not my first venture. My first venture was a
company offering services to telecom service providers, then
I ventured into infrastructure and at a later point RRG
happened. We have started a few more entities post RRG as
well. All the ventures that we started are currently
operational and focused on specific area.
We have always believed in the adage Horses for courses,
so we have various entities which are focussed on specific
markets each respectively. We eventually plan to consolidate
all these operations under a group umbrella enabling us to
leverage the strengths within our enterprises.
How old is RRG? How much has it contributed to the
aviation industry and more specifically to the unmanned
systems industry?
RRG Engg. was established in May 2008, but, significant
operations started from 2009 onwards.
RRG offers its customers a wide variety of unmanned
platforms, be it, ground vehicles or aerial vehicles, we are not
yet into marine solutions. Coming to aerial solutions, we
offer solutions ranging from mini/micro platforms to tactical
and MALE platforms. Also we offer solutions based on
quad-rotor, VTOL Rotary wing or fixed wing configurations
as well.
Are you associated with any other line of products as well?
Yes, apart from unmanned systems we are offering our
customers capabilities in
1. Access control and area monitoring
2. Nuclear, Chemical, Biological and Explosive detection
and identification solutions
3. Long range and short range surveillance
Where are you located apart from India?
We are currently operating only from India. We do have
plans to have presence at other locations apart from India,
but, that would happen eventually.
What is your revenue model in India?
Currently, we are generating our revenues by offering
various solutions that we have discussed above, we also offer
trained man-power to attend any maintenance and
operational requirements of customers.
It would not be out of place to mention here that, sometimes
our customers have preferred to have our man-power attend
solutions supplied by other vendors as well, due to reliability
and prompt service that we provide.

Even today, we believe that Camcopter S100 is the most


mature, versatile and proven product within its category, and
the sheer operational exposure that platform has undergone
across the globe reflects how robust and user friendly this
platform is. It is perhaps the only common platform that can
be found across operators of varied nature across the globe,
right from civilian applications like monitoring of security at
event like Sochi Olympics to being operated from by French
or Italian Navies. This is in itself the biggest endorsement
that any product can get.
We believe that Indian agencies do not deserve anything less
than the best for their applications and we are proud to be
offering Camcopter S100 to them.
What are the challenges in the industry you have been
facing in the Indian UAV market?
Indian UAV market has significant challenges, which are
hindering the market from opening up and exploiting the true
potential.
The biggest drawback is in the civilian space, as armed
forces and home-land security are arriving at their own
operational guidelines and requirements, through a trial and
evaluation method, which we have to agree is fair to
providers of platforms of various configurations. The speed
of decision making might not be very quick, but, that is
because of the existing policy and we can't blame the users
for the same.
Whereas, in the civilian space, there is a total vacuum on
guidelines, hence there is no clarity of the permissions one
would need to operate an unmanned system for any of his/her
applications. Once this lacuna is addressed we believe there
would a significant market that would open up at the mini
and micro UAV level as these platforms can be deployed for a
wide range of activities from crop monitoring in agriculture
to monitoring of progress in large infrastructural projects and
providing information in activities like mining etc.
How has been your experience so far in the UAV industry?
The experience has been mixed, we receive a lot of positive
interest from the customers when we approach them with our
capabilities. But, in the civilian space these interactions hit
the policy road-block and whereas in the defence and home
land arena we have long drawn out processes. But, we are
very hopeful that once the requirements for categories in
which we offer solutions reach the critical mass, it would a
very exciting market to be in.

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GM Ranga Rao with the Camcopter S100

How do you compare the market approachability for all the


products you are handling?
Market approachability of any product is inversely
proportional to the complexity and technology involved in
the solution. So, we find the market extremely receptive for
products that are simpler and easier to use in nature (For
example access control solutions) than to say a
comprehensive NBC protection suite for a facility or a
unmanned system based solution. But, very naturally, you
find yourself sharing the market space with a large number of
players for the approachable markets and this eventually
tapers down as the complexity increases.
What is your present flagship product?
The flagship offering for the unmanned space would
definitely be Camcopter S100.
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Your USP?
Our USP is the capability to offer solutions tailor made to the
customers. We don't believe in offering off-the-shelf
products for all the requirements. Each customer of ours has
a very unique requirement, and we strive to offer unique
solutions to their unique problems.
It's a challenging and highly educative process, as some of
the requirements we have come across test the capabilities to
sensors and systems to their limits.
What is your latest update on M&As for RRG?
At present we don't have any plans to merge or acquire any
companies. We are in discussions with various likeminded
companies to establish joint ventures or dedicated special
purpose ventures for certain opportunities we are working
currently on.

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Do you have a dedicated product manufacturing unit for


any of your products in India?
Manufacturing of a product locally, or indigenising of the
products would be possible only when there is a critical mass
in the requirements generated in the market or nearby
markets to offer scales of economies better than the existing
manufacturing base of the product.
Unfortunately for the solutions we are offering currently
don't have such scale in India. But, we are hopeful that this
situation will be corrected in the near future and we would be
providing these services soon. We have understanding with
the OEM partners we are working with say, Schiebel for
Camcopter S100 or FLIR for NBC detection sensors to
establish a value addition center locally when the scales
warrant, either ourselves or with likeminded partners.
How different are your products from others?
The products that we are offering are some of the most
appreciated and exploited technologies across the globe,
which somehow have not been adapted in Indian market.
Hence, in any given category, we offer products that are more
mature, technically more robust and reliable. On the aside, a
big differentiator is also our capability to offer customised
solutions based on the needs of the user.
How global are you?
As mentioned above, at this point in time we are operating
from India only and catering to the Indian and nearby
markets. We do have plans to have a broad base presence.

Are there any projects you are undertaking for UAVs currently
or in the near future apart from the Camcopter S100?
We already have various other products that we are offering our
customers in the micro/mini and MALE categories. Some of
these platforms are quad-rotors and some of them are fixed
wing solutions.
What are your future plans?
RRG is currently at a very unique position, we foresee a
significant increase in market size for various products we are
offering, including the unmanned solutions market. We are
planning to scale our size and improve our capabilities to meet
these challenges organically. We are also keen on investing in
processes to develop local solutions in some of these markets
and develop new products which can be useful not only Indian
market, but can be deployed globally.
What is your vision for RRG in India?
The vision of RRG is to be the 'Go To' solution provider for the
customers in all the markets that we operate in.
Lastly, as an Entrepreneur you have been successfully
steering your company for more than 15 years now. Tell us
more about your mantra behind the success.
I have always believed that, the key to be a successful
entrepreneur is
1. Ability to see opportunity where no one else seems to see it
2. Belief in self, backing oneself in tough situations
3. Perseverance, not being bogged down by setbacks
4. Having a good and working control system to analyse and
evaluate what is happening and correcting the course.

DEFEXPO

2014

Unmanned Systems Review

By Annette Livingstone
CEO & Editor, Unmanned Flying Machines

AK Antony, Defence Minister inaugurating the event

EFEXPO in the capital which is organised every two


years is an indication that there still is a desire to
modernise and many international players see India as a
major potential to do business with. The Indian
Defence Minister inaugurated the DEFEXPO 2014 on
06 Feb which lasted till 09 Feb. When one of the reporters
asked him a question, 'Over the past few years we have seen
that India has been on an overdrive to black list foreign arms
companies. Has the desire to achieve greater transparency and
higher probity harmed India armed forces in capacity
building?' To this the Defence minister replied and he said, the
malpractices and corruption might have delayed the
procurement process, nevertheless we have been able to
streamline the system. India has given a clear cut signal to the
foreign player that there exists no tolerance to corruption. The
set back to modernisation that has taken place recently but will
be short lived. Gone are the days when defence budget use to
get surrendered. In this financial year we have already
expended 92% only 8% remains balance in the last two
months. He said there will however be no comprise on
transparency. Best thing about this year's display was the vast
participation of Indian firms displaying indigenous equipment.
Mahindra and the TATAs were the attraction to many apart
from the displayed equipment by the DRDO. There was a vast
variety of small arms.

The domain of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has


unsurprisingly emerged as a focus area for indigenous military
development and production efforts. Indeed domestic UAV
programmes are serving as a draw for the private sector with
participation from both medium and small scale enterprises
(MSME) as well as large conglomerates. And besides the usual
clutch of sub-assemblies, major sub-systems such as sensor
payloads and engines are also being increasingly sourced from
Indian industry.
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The largest UAV showcased at DEFEXPO 14 was the


flagship UAV programme at the moment, Rustom-II being
developed in the lead by the Defence Research and
Development Organisation's (DRDO's) Aeronautical
Development Establishment (ADE) based in Bangalore.
Rustom-II is a medium altitude long endurance (MALE)
UAV with an altitude ceiling of 32,000 feet and an endurance
of up to 35 hours. This bird is being designed to meet the
needs of all three services with different configurations,
naturally. However, while the Indian Navy (IN) version is
slated to carry mostly electro-optical payloads and maritime
patrol radar, the Indian Army (IA) and Indian Air force (IAF)
versions are a more involved proposition tailored to carry
Electronic Intelligence (ELINT), Communications
Intelligence (COMINT) and Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR) packages as well. In fact a new indigenously
developed airborne Ku-band SAR scheduled to commence
trials this year on a flying test bed will eventually take pride
of place on the Rustom-2.

DRDOs mini UGV

The programme is currently in iterative development mode


with refinements in aerodynamic shaping underway and it is
likely that a total of eight prototypes will be built with the last
one serving as the base for production variants. While the target
weight for the Rustom is roughly around 1800 kilograms (kgs),
the current prototypes are about 400 kgs over that benchmark.
Moreover it is unlikely that the final variant will be less than
2100 Kgs. With that figure in mind and typical margins for
capability growth, DRDO has decided to fit the Rustom-2 with
new diesel engines.
Interestingly, the new engine configuration is slated to be
indigenized with a domestically developed equivalent as a
result of a collaborative effort between DRDO's Vehicle
Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) and Tech
Mahindra. The Rustom-2's private sector footprint obviously
extends into the MSME sector as well. For instance, Bangalore
based FLOTECH Engineering & Trading services is supplying
aircraft fuel rigs for the Rustom-2 while Nfotec Digital
Engineering Pvt. Ltd from the same city is providing CAD
design and CFD analysis support services to the program.
Slated to take to the skies for the first time this year, Rustom-2
prototypes will soon enter a phase wherein critical operational
safety aspects such as waypoint navigation back to the nearest
friendly airbase in the event of satellite link failure at distances
which are also beyond VHF line of sight and the fine tuning of
the on board traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) will be
worked upon. For the moment, the Rustom-2 is confined to
military airspace.
The other indigenous UAV bearing legendary Aerospace
scientist and engineer, Rustom B. Damania's name, the
Rustom-I is also set for interesting times ahead. As revealed by
Dr K. Tamilmani, Director-General Aeronautical systems,
DRDO, to Geek at Large, Rustom-I is likely to be India's first
armed UAV and work is underway to integrate the Helina
(which is the air-launched version of the Nag anti-tank missile)
with it. Carriage trials are expected to begin this September.
The Rustom-2 which will also carry munitions eventually will
see weapon release trials in 2017. Meanwhile, the Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has bitten the bullet on the
Nishant UAV which is already in service with the IA and some
16 units of a customized version are set to find place in its
inventory. Given the terrain in which the CRPF variant will be
operated, DRDO labs have worked together to reduce the
number of support vehicles for it by a third. Importantly, the
CRPF version will fly with an indigenously developed wankel
rotary engine with a rating of 55 HP replacing its current ALVIS
AR-801 engine.
This engine developed by VRDE is already under production at
a private facility operated by SMC in Hyderabad with eight sets
scheduled to be delivered soon. The indigenous engine which
can apparently be uprated to 65 HP will also power the
conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) version of the
Nishant which weighs some 25 kgs more than the current trucklaunched version and will see its first conventional take-off
sometime later this year. To understand the large domestic
private sector footprint of the Nishant program it could be
noted that the GIS solution for it has come from Pegasus
software consultants, Digitronics has provided power supply,
Meru Precision Industries has supported the development of
many sub-assemblies and the Gimballed Payload Assembly
and Servo Electronic System has come from Tata Power SED.
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The big story of course is the progressive


indigenization of the propulsion system for these
UAV programs. Propulsion after all is that one thing
that stands between the Indian aerospace sector
becoming more or less sufficient ( naturally more
intense efforts on airborne fire control radars is also
required) and being dependent on the West or
Russia.
Apart from the larger UAV segment the small UAV
segment saw a fair amount of display at the event.
About 30 UAV companies were present at the event
and this year was interesting with live
demonstrations of Unmanned Ground Vehicles.
D R D O i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h H i Te c h
Roboticsystemz showcased some very attractive
and eye opening UGVs. There were lot of
indigenously made UAVs by companies like
A s t e r i a , R a j d e e p A u t o m a t i o n , H i Te c h
Roboticsystemz, Precision operation systems, Zen
technologies, SIKA, Tata Advanced Systems, OIS,
Omnipresent Tech and Alpha Design Technologies.
Biggest news for the small UAV segment was the
Tatas who bagged a major contract with the Nothern
Command of the India Army. Aurora Integrated
Systems Limited, a subsidiary of Tata Advanced
Systems Limited (TASL), has been awarded the
Indian Army's largest mini-UAV order till date. The
order for 49 mini UAV systems was recently
awarded to Aurora, after extensive trials by Army's
Northern Command.

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Co Founders Nihar Vartak (left) & Neel Mehta

Asteria Aerospace is a young company focused on


developing unmanned systems to meet the rapidly
growing need of unmanned technology. John Livingstone,
Managing Director, Johnnette had an exclusive interview
with Asterias Co Founder Neel Mehta at DEFEXPO 2014
in New Delhi. He tells us about Asterias plans and what
it can do for the unmanned systems industry.

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eel tell us the story behind your startup.

Asteria Aerospace was cofounded by


Nihar Vartak and myself in 2012. We
were introduced to UAVs in 2004 while
we were studying Aerospace
Engineering at Purdue University. The
idea was to develop UAVs for civil
applications such as fire-fighting and search and rescue
for local agencies in the vicinity of our University. The
technology was so primitive at that time that it was
difficult to even find a suitable GPS sensor for
navigation. However, the potential of this exciting
technology was apparent and this is
when the idea of working with UAVs
was first planted in our minds. Since
then, we went our own ways after
graduation working at multi-national
aerospace companies in the US, but the
idea stayed with us throughout and we
used to often talk about the right time
and place to do something like this. As
the awareness of UAVs began to
increase we made the move in late
2011 and decided to quit our jobs,
move to India and start up Asteria
Aerospace.

Why did you both decide to quit your


lucrative jobs and then board this
challenging flight of
entrepreneurship?
Our singular passion to create an
ecosystem for developing high tech
aerospace products in India motivated
us to quit our jobs and begin this
journey. There are not many
companies in the private sector here
that do aerospace product design and
this results in India having to import
most of the technology in this domain.
This is especially true in emerging
fields such as Unmanned Aerial
Systems. There is a tremendous
opportunity for growth in this area and
we feel that we can capitalize on this
opportunity and create value with our
background and experience.

How do think you would be able to bring a change in


the Indian mindsets?
Asteria's first product is the CYGNUS mini unmanned
aerial system. The CYGNUS UAV flies autonomously
and delivers real-time high definition (HD) aerial video
from a range of 15 km. We've indigenously developed
the autopilot which controls the aircraft from takeoff to
landing as well as the user interface software for the
ground control station. Asteria's control on the vertical
integration across all the UAV subsystems allows us to
incorporate innovations into the CYGNUS, for
example, a HD video downlink and advanced
autonomy with built-in safety
features. We are making rapid
strides in UAV technologies
by investing in R&D to ensure
that we deliver quality UAV
systems that are as
technologically advanced, if
not better, than those of
foreign competitors.

...Our singular
passion to
create an
ecosystem for
developing
high tech
aerospace
products in
India motivated
us to quit our
jobs and begin
this journey...

So what do you think is the biggest


challenge entering the Indian UAV
market?
UAVs have both civilian and military
applications. The civilian UAV market
in India is very emerging and the primary challenge is in
familiarizing customers with the kind of applications
that can be performed with UAVs as well as creating a
successful business use case for them. In the military
market, the challenge is to navigate the procurement
processes as well as overcome a deterrent mindset that
foreign products are better than those designed in India
this is not limited to UAVs but is true for any high
technology product.

Moreover, both Nihar and I


have prior experience in
designing and certifying
systems for commercial
aircraft and we bring a certain
rigour to the processes by
which we develop our
products. Asteria's quality
management system has been
certified to the ISO 9001:2008
standard which affirms our
commitment in creating and
delivering quality products to
our customers. We have put a
lot of attention to detail in the
CYGNUS system and it
shows in the final product.
Are you looking for any VCs
now?
We are looking for long term
investors who share the same
vision as us for the company.
Were you both aeromodeling
before getting into this?
We h a v e d o n e s o m e
aeromodeling before and this
experience has definitely
helped us in the design and
development of the UAV.

For how many hours have your flown your Cygnus


UAV?
Our CYGNUS UAV has flown for more than 30 hours
so far. It is battery powered and the aircraft flies for 90
minutes on a single charge

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CYGNUS displayed at DEFEXPO 2014

Where do you think Cygnus will be applicable at this


point of time for an end user?
CYGNUS is targeted for any application that requires a
reliable, user friendly and cost effective platform to
deliver real-time aerial video and images. CYGNUS can
be used by government end users such as the military and
para-military forces, BSF (Border Security Force), police
forces and disaster management authorities. Commercial
and industrial applications of the CYGNUS include oil
and gas pipeline monitoring, industrial security,
geospatial mapping etc. We are integrating other sensors
in CYGNUS besides daytime/thermal cameras for
different applications.
Tell us about the competition for this market in India.
Right now, there are a few companies in the private sector
focusing on the mini and micro UAV market. The main
competition is from foreign companies for larger UAVs.
Do you have any customers for your UAV?
We recently launched the CYGNUS UAS in December
2013 and have generated a lot of interest from both
government and commercial end users in and outside
India. We are in the process of finishing our flight test
campaign of the system over the next couple of months
and have already started demonstrating the system before
prospective clients.
Where do you think the commercial market is opening its
doors in India?
The commercial market for UAVs is at a nascent stage in
India but the market potential is huge. Currently, we are
seeing interest in the use of UAVs for commercial
applications such as industrial security, oil and gas
pipeline monitoring, industrial inspections, aerial
coverage for news and media, real estate mapping etc. The
applications for UAVs are limited only by imagination.
The DGCA has to recognize the market potential of this
technology and come up with regulations for safe and
effective use of UAVs in the Indian civilian airspace.
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...the
commercial
market for
UAVs is at a
nascent stage
in India but
the market
potential is
huge...
What are your future plans?
In the near future, our focus in on developing a variety
of UAVs as well as UAV related technologies. Our long
term vision is to grow Asteria as a core aerospace
engineering company to develop end-to-end aerospace
systems in the Indian private sector.

...Continued from page 15

Although large size UAVs have been procured by the


armed forces there has been no movement on the Micro and
Mini UAVs including man pack, which are an essential
requirement for the tactical battle area and CI/CT
operations. RFPs in this regard are stated to have been
floated for this class of UAVs by both army and airforce.
Latest reports indicate that the Indian Army is on the
lookout for Miniature UAVs (MAVs), which can evade
enemy radar, are easy to handle, can be launched without
runways and are also capable of carrying explosives to act
as killer drones for small but high value targets. The main
aim is to use them for monitoring mountainous terrain,
conflict zones and congested urban areas. The MAVs
would be very useful in CI/CT operations in J & K and the
North East. The MAVs could weigh as less as 2 kg and have
an endurance of 30 minutes at a stretch.
On the indigenous front Idea Forge Technology Private
Limited in collaboration with DRDO has developed a man
portable UAV called 'Netra' which has undergone field
trials sometime back. Netra is an autonomous hovering
UAV ideal for short range, over the hill missions. This is
being inducted for employment of police forces like CRPF
and BSF. The Indian armed forces and the Police forces
current focus is on Micro/Mini/ VTOL UAVs keeping in
mind the likely hood of sub conventional conflicts and
homeland security requirements. The HAL in collaboration
with the Israeli Aircraft Industries had attempted to make

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the Naval Rotary UAV (NRUAV) based on the Chetak


helicopter frame for operations from ship decks this
programme however has not been successful. The DRDO
along with IAI of Israel has also embarked on development of
Pawan and Gagan short range UAVs which are akin to some of
the existing Israeli UAVs in the same class. However overall
lack of technology development capabilities have dogged
India's indigenous UAV programmes. With the Public Sector
delivering much less than expected it seems that foreign
acquisition will be the main stay for Indian Defence forces in
the coming years.
Application and use of UAVs in Industry/Civil Market.
During the last 30 years, UAV systems have evolved into
highly capable machines used by the armed forces worldwide,
mostly for surveillance and data acquisition purposes. The
demand for these products in the commercial industry arises
from the low manufacturing and operating cost of the system
and the flexibility of these aircraft to adjust to the particular
needs of the consumer. But despite this the full potential of the
UAVs has not been exploited in the civil market. It is a fact that
today the civil UAV market is responsible for only 3% of the
total market revenue. In this also North America and Europe
are by far the largest markets for civil UAV applications.
Basically the problem revolves around airworthiness and
certification issues for UAVs in the civil market for operating
in controlled airspace of a country citing safety and reliability
issues. No such problem exists for the UAVs operated by
armed forces of respective countries. This issue is under active
consideration and debate in the civil UAV industry worldwide.

Northrop Grummans Global Hawk


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Future Trends
The increasing demand and reliance on UAVs in war
fighting and peace keeping operations has doubled the pace
of UAV related research and development in recent years.
UAVs today, with enhanced capabilities are able to play a
greater role in critical missions. Achieving information's
superiority, minimizing collateral
damage, fighting effectively in urban
area against widely dispersed forces,
striking autonomously and precisely
are areas where UAVs will be
increasingly indispensable. The
three major thrusts in UAV
development are Growth in size of
strategic UAV for better endurance
and payload, reduction in size of
tactical UAVs, weaponisation of
UAVs to offer lethal capability in
combat missions and autonomycommonly defined as ability of the
machine to take decisions without
human intervention. Armed forces
worldwide are beginning to explore
the possibilities offered by
Unmanned systems as both sensor
and weapon platforms. The promise
of an autonomous, highly survivable
and absolutely fearless UAV will
usher in a new paradigm in which the
ultimate consideration is no longer
the value of pilots lives, but rather the
mission and cost effectiveness of
UAVs. The advent of light airborne
precision weapons, autonomous
target acquisition and recognition
technologies will push UAVs
towards becoming armed and lethal
unmanned platforms. UAVs with the
ability to pick out targets in attack
autonomously with persistent
presence over areas of interest will
come of age in the near future and
become indispensable weapons of
war for commanders.

Increasing demand of better performance and higher


reliability will escalate the development and production
costs of UAVs. Whether the platform is designed to be even
more reliable than an aircraft depends on its application, the
pay load it carries, mission pay off and cost effectiveness. It
must be appreciated that for strategic high value UAVs to
perform as well as manned systems, will have higher
acquisition costs. The
development of larger size
UAVs (fixed wing and rotary)
in the cargo carriage role is
already underway, with the
lead being taken US
companies like Lockheed
Martin and Boeing. Some of
these systems like Lockheed
Martins unmanned K-MAX
helicopter has been
successfully deployed in
Afghanistan to augment
Marine Corps ground and air
logistics operations. Its
performance has been
exceptional as per data
available this is likely to set
the trend for employment in
future conflicts.

...Two of the
most
important of
these lessons
are
'Complete
Battlefield
Dominance'
and 'Closing
Sensor to
Shooter
Loop'...

The continued development of


strategic and tactical UAVs follows
the line of employing UAVs as multi
role multi mission platforms. UAVs
will see progressive developments
towards both extreme ends of size
spectrum. Strategic UAVs will see
growth in size for better endurance,
reliability and payload capacity,
while the mini and micro UAVs will
grow smaller, lighter and more
expendable. The tactical close range
platforms will become more
versatile with multi role multi mission capability. Passive
and low signature sensors are essential to boost stealth and
survivability of UAVs. Note worthy advances include
Hyper-Spectral imaging, Laser radar, synthetic aperture
radar and moving target indicator.
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Conclusion

Technology is driving the


military and civilian uses of
UAVs into remarkable areas
with the possibilities
seemingly endless. A crucial
piece of technology that is
required to take UAVs to the
next level is a robust 'sense
and avoid 'system allowing
unmanned planes to fly safely
in a busy airspace. In the
meantime, the debate on
manned vs unmanned aircraft
and whether the days of
manned combat aircraft are
numbered has been going on
for some time. While the UAV
is an innovative weapon
system, but it not yet capable
of replacing the manned
aircraft, the main drawbacks
being the situational
awareness and the ability to
analyse its operational
environment. The way
forward is to integrate
manned and unmanned
platforms and satellite based
sensors in order to attain an integrated operational picture.
The future combat arena may well see both the manned
aircraft and the UAVs/Unmanned Combat Aerial
Vehicle(UCAVs) in complementary roles.

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Marines' new unmanned Northrop Grumman Australia


Acquires Qantas Defence Services
vehicle could patrol
Northrop Grumman Australia Pty Limited has completed
the acquisition of Qantas Defence Services Pty Limited,
bases in Afghanistan
now called Northrop Grumman Integrated Defence
By James K. Sanborn

The Marine Corps is


experimenting with a
new unmanned ground
vehicle that can patrol
installations and detect
intruders or potential
enemy forces nearly a
mile away. The Mobile
Detection Assessment
Response System, or
MDARS, was used in late January to successfully secure an air
base during the latest Integrated Training Exercise the final
predeployment workup all units conduct at Marine Corps Air
Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. The vehicle
could be headed to Afghanistan, according to its developers,
although concrete plans have not been made. A field
demonstration of MDARS began Jan 30 at the combat center's
Camp Wilson. The vehicle successfully aided members of
Marine Aircraft Group 13 and Marine Wing Support Squadron
374 to patrol the area immediately surrounding their airfield as a
mock enemy force tried to probe their defenses.
During the first night, the vehicle was autonomously navigating
around the base by heading to predetermined waypoints
when guards in one tower detected two potential enemy
soldiers, said Pat Culliton, the MDARS program manager with
San Diego-based Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center
Pacific. The vehicle can be set to roam free, navigate to
predetermined waypoints, or in the case of the two potential
enemy detected the first night, scrambled to an area of interest to
investigate further. By the second night of demonstrations,
Cullinton and his team had the vehicle's sensors tuned up and
operating optimally.
That is particularly useful when transporting it for maintenance.
The longer chassis also means the vehicle's rear cargo area has
been left empty for future upgrades that Colliton said could
include a smaller robot that can maneuver into places MDARS
can't fit, or even a small unmanned quadcopter. MDARS
developers hope to incorporate the vehicle into the next
Weapons and Tactics Instructor course at the center in April.
Culliton and his developers want to put the vehicles in new
environments to gain a better understanding of Marine
operations and how the vehicle, which was designed for fixed
installation security, can be tweaked for expeditionary
operations. Culliton and his staff have already briefed Lt. Gen.
John A. Toolan the I Marine Expeditionary Force commanding
general and have also received interest from Maj. Gen. Thomas
Murray, the commanding general of Training and Education
Command.The Army had plans to deploy several of the vehicles
to Afghanistan to aid at entry control points where they could
alert soldiers of potential threats before they arrive at
checkpoints. But, those plans were canceled as the drawdown
got underway. Army officials told SPAWAR they did not want to
ship more gear to Afghanistan as they worked to ship what is
there home.

Services Pty Limited (IDS). IDS provides integrated


logistics, sustainment and modernization support primarily
to Australian Government and military customers.
Operating as a part of Northrop Grumman Australia, IDS is
strategically aligned with the Integrated Logistics and
Modernization division of Northrop Grumman Technical
Services. Northrop Grumman IDS enhances our incountry footprint and local capabilities, and demonstrates
our commitment to the Australian and regional defence
markets. We expect this to be an important platform for
international growth in our key focus areas of unmanned,
cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization, said Ian
Irving, Northrop Grumman chief executive for Australia.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company
providing innovative systems, products and solutions in
unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and
modernization to government and commercial customers
worldwide.

Lockheed Martin to Conduct


Autonomous Reconnaissance,
Surveillance and Target Acquisition Experiment

Lockheed Martin has received a contract from the U.S.


Army Robotics Technology Consortium to conduct a fully
autonomous reconnaissance, surveillance and target
acquisition experiment using both its Squad Mission
Support System (SMSS) unmanned ground vehicle and its
K-MAX unmanned air vehicle. In collaboration with the
U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and
Engineering Center, Lockheed Martin will conduct a
notional scenario later this year, in which a K-MAX
autonomous rotorcraft will transport a Gyrocam-equipped
SMSS via sling load into a simulated area of interest
deemed too risky for human presence. The K-MAX will
position itself over the intended release point and
autonomously set down, releasing the SMSS upon
command from a remote operator.

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Team BlackSheep Response to NTSB


Commercial Drone Decision

By Patrick Egan

Team BlackSheep is pleased with the dismissal of proposed FAA fines


directed at its lead pilot, Raphael Trappy Pirker, announced on March
6th, 2014. The civil penalty, proposed in connection with Mr. Pirker's
operation of a videography drone at the University of Virginia in October
2011, was dismissed on the ground that at the time, there was no
enforceable FAA rule or FAR Regulation applicable to model aircraft or for
classifying model aircraft as [unmanned aircraft systems].
I hope that the March 6 decision by the NTSB administrative law judge
will create a path forward for beneficial use of civilian drones in the United
States, after years of regulatory delay, said Mr. Pirker. I also anticipate
that it will prompt an international discussion about the appropriate level of
regulation for small, lightweight airborne robots that bear almost no
resemblance to the passenger aircraft that aviation agencies were
historically established to regulate over 60 years ago.
Team BlackSheep takes safety very seriously and does not view the
decision as a license to use drones in an irresponsible manner. Many of the
Team's aerial videos demonstrate dramatic flying styles using equipment
that has been rigorously tested, flown by drone pilots with proven
experience. These operations involve safety measures and operational
protocols that are not visible in the final production videos. Mr. Pirker has 18 years of experience piloting radio-control drones, including
test flights in extreme weather conditions, and the Team boasts a perfect zero-injury safety record. Team BlackSheep invests considerable
amounts of its revenue into research and development to make its civilian drones safe and reliable. The Team also works with
community-based organizations in various countries to help implement or improve voluntary safety guidelines for model aircraft (drone)
operators. In addition, they advise customers and all drone operators not to undertake advanced drone photography missions until they
have established complete confidence in their equipment and skills. Mr. Pirker was represented by Brendan Schulman, head of the
Unmanned Aircraft Systems practice at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP. We understand that the FAA intends to appeal the
decision. We are disappointed that the agency feels that continued litigation is the appropriate path forward for this emerging industry,
said Mr. Schulman. However, Mr. Pirker will continue to defend against this unprecedented attempt to impose a penalty that has no basis
in any law or regulation, and the nearly decade-long commercial drone 'ban' that sends the wrong message to high-tech innovators and
entrepreneurs.

PCB Fabrication &


Assembly for
Unmanned Vehicles
San Francisco
Circuits is an
industry leader in all
aspects of printed
circuit boards,
including
design/layout,
fabrication and
assembly. They
work with a strong
network of PCB
manufacturers and PCB assembly houses, both domestic and
off shore to provide a one-stop solution and the best value
possible for all circuit board needs. SFC has a team of
experienced technical experts that strive to provide a quick
turnaround not just on boards but customer service. San
Francisco Circuits provides both prototype and large
production volumes for every application of unmanned
systems and beyond. Military-grade certified PCBs are one
of SFC's specialties. With PCB manufacturing capabilities in
the United States, they can provide high-quality reliable
MilSpec ceritifed flexible or rigid circuits. SFC
manufacturers work to certification standards such as MILPRF-55110, MIL-PRF-50884 and MIL-PRF-31032 with a
range of finishes, solder masks, silk screens and fabrication
methods.
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AAUS Tackling
Issue of Privacy
Australian Association of Unmanned Systems (AAUS)
Executive Director, Ms Peggy MacTavish, and Board Member,
Dr Reece Clothier, were invited witnesses to a House of
Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal
Affairs Round Table hearing on Drones and Privacy.
The round table included representatives from the industry,
academia, CASA, Airservices Australia, AFP, CSIRO, mining,
privacy advocacy groups, the Australian Law Reform
Commission, and animal welfare groups. AAUS, speaking onbehalf of the professional UAS industry, takes the issue of
privacy very seriously. AAUS recognises that UAS have served
as a call to arms for much needed and much broader privacy
law reform in Australia. It was the position of AAUS that privacy
is an issue not specific to our technology, and that the
recommendations of the ALRC for technology independent
privacy law should not be ignored. These recommendations were
echoed by the Privacy Commissioner, Mr Tim Pilgrim, in his
closing address to the Committee. AAUS strongly supports
privacy law reform, and were seeking a balanced outcome, which
recognises the rights of individuals to privacy yet does not
impose legislation that could potentially hamstring a very
beneficial emerging industry. Further, AAUS has been working
on a professional code of conduct for its members. The draft
code of conduct includes consideration for privacy management,
alongside requirements for insurance, and a demonstrated high
standard of safety.

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JOHNNETTE

Tatas bag Army's


largest
mini-UAV
order
Tata Advanced Systems UAV displayed
at the DEFEXPO 2014 at New Delhi
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urora Integrated
Systems Limited, a
subsidiary of Tata
Advanced Systems
Limited (TASL), has
been aw ar d ed th e
Indian Army's largest mini-UAV
order till date. The order for 49
mini UAV systems was recently
awarded to Aurora, after
extensive trials by Army's
Northern Command. Aquilon is a
hand-launched, man-portable
mini-Unmanned Aerial System,
which is ideal for providing
frontline troops with increased
situational awareness. This easy
to deploy, easy to use system is
designed for fully autonomous
operations from launch through
mission execution and recovery.
While major sub-systems like
autopilot, payload gimbal and the
Ground Control Station software,
apart from the airframe have been
indigenously designed and
developed by Aurora, the efforts
are complemented by TASL's
cross-functional team of
technical, operational and
commercial experts.

Aquilon during a test flight

The system would enable the Indian Army with all-terrain 24x7 ISR mission capabilities. Some of the main features of
Aquilon are as follows:

Integrated autonomous launch and autonomous landing

Full mission and payload planning with pre-set search patterns

Hand-launched and belly landing operation by 1-2 man team

Stabilised gimbals for day and night camera

Automatic target acquisition and tracking feature

Electric propulsion covert operations

Low-noise, low visibility, low operational footprint

Zero tool assembly of airframe

Ruggedised Ground Control Station for harsh environments

Full duplex jam resistant datalink communication

Technical Specifications
Maximum Take off Weight
Time to Launch
Endurance
Range
Propulsion
Power source
Minimum speed
Cruise speed
Maximum continuous winds
Operational altitude
Service Ceiling
Wing span
Total length
EO camera Field of View
IR camera Field of View

: 4 kgs
: < 15 minutes
: > 60 minutes
: > 5 kms, extendable up to 10 kms
: Electric motor
: Non-spillable Rechargeable batteries
: 40 kmph
: 54 kmph
: > 20 knots
: 100m to 1000m
: 3000m
: 1.9 m
: 1.2 m
: 46deg to 4.5deg
: 10deg to 25deg

u
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