Tuesday, December 27, 2011


AURA will be developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) at Bangalore in collaboration with Defence Avionics Research Establishment (Bangalore), Defence Electronics Application Lab (Dehradun) and Gas Turbine Research Establishment (Bangalore).


DRDO plans to develop a Stealth UCAV capable of releasing bombs and missile under the AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft) program.

The AURA UCAV project is different from Indian UCAV that is visualized as Predator type drone that is remotely piloted and dependent on a communication link.

The AURA UCAV is contemplated as a X-47B UAS that can autonomously fly a profile, deliver a payload and return to base.

At a Glance
Stealth UCAV
Capable of releasing missiles, bombs and PGM at enemy targets
Internal Weapons Bay
Turbofan Engine
Ceiling: 30,000-ft
Weight: 15 ton
Project Status
The existence of the AURA program was first reported in June 2010.

The program was first officially acknowledged in April 2011 by DRDO's chief controller R&D (aeronautics) Dr Prahlada.

"With Rs 50 crore as seed money, a full-fledged project team with 15-18 scientists has already begun work on the UCAV's preliminary design and technology. With on-board mission computers, data links, fire control radars, identification of friend or foe, and traffic collision avoidance systems, they will be highly intelligent drones," Prahlada told TOI.

"Capable of flying at altitudes of 30,000 feet and weighing less than 15 tonnes, the UCAVs will have rail-launching for the missiles, bombs and PGMs (precision-guided munitions) they will carry," he added.

The UCAV is currently referred to as IUSAP FOR Indian Unmanned Strike Aircraft Program.


DRDO is confident of developing the UCAVs mainly on its own, with "some foreign consultancy or collaboration" in fields like stealth as well as autonomous short-run take-off and landing, according to Dr. Prahlada
In August 2011 a DRDO official told the press that the UCAV maybe powered by the indigenous 75kN thrust Kaveri engine.

Kaveri has two version, one if which, Kaveri K-10 with 90kN thrust, is proposed to be developed with SNECAMA as powerplant for the AMCA.