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Aero India 2023: India's SRUAV-W conducting weapons trials

The SRUAV-W is being developed as a short-range unmanned aerial combat vehicle for the Indian Army. (Janes/Akhil Kadidal)

India's Short-Range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle-Weaponised (SRUAV-W) is conducting weapon trials.

Based on the Rustom I short-range (tactical) surveillance vehicle, the SRUAV-W is being developed as a short-range unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV).

A project member with India's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) told Janes that the UCAV's weapons trials are being conducted using four types of air-to-surface missiles. The ADE is a lab of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO). The official spoke to Janes during the Aero India 2023 show, which is being held in Bangalore from 13 to 17 February.

According to the ADE project official, the weapons include the Helina anti-tank missile and the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) Man Portable Anti-Tank Guided Missile (MPATGM). The ADE official said that the third munition being integrated with the UCAV is an anti-personnel missile. The official did not give details about the anti-personnel missile or the fourth missile being used in the trials.

The UCAV has two weapon hardpoints, one under each wing. β€œEach wing point can mount two missiles. At the moment, the SRUAV-W can be described as a limited UCAV,” the ADE project official said.

This is because of the smaller payload-carrying capability of the aircraft. It has a total weight of 750 kg. Janes assesses that the SRUAV-W has a weapon payload capacity of under 100 kg. The UAV also has an electronic payload comprising an electro-optical system (with colour charge-coupled device [CCD] and forward-looking infrared [FLIR]) and a laser designator.

The Rustom I conducted its first successful flight in 2010. According to Janes

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