Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is developing unmanned LCA Tejas, HAL is preparing to develop Indian unmanned fighter fleet for the modern warfare.Tejas is rejected by Indian Navy due to its lack of capabilities, but HAL has decided to bring more deadly variants of Tejas while introducing the plan of unmanned fighter.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, unmanned ground vehicles, and unmanned marine vehicles are slowly taking over various jobs in the armed forces around the world. Unmanned vehicles are proving very cost effective, and an easy way to get the job done without risking any human life.
India is also working on some ambitious projects in the category of unmanned vehicles. India has developed Rustom series of reconnaissance drones, ground-based mine and IED disposable UGV’s known as Daksh.An armed version of Daksh is also present who have a machine gun and a grenade launcher deployed on an arm which can move 360 degree. Apart from such small projects India has also tried its hand on the recent global trend, various countries are now developing and searching for the technology to keep the humans out of the machine.
DRDO chief during 2008 M Natarajan mentioned the idea of developing unmanned LCA-Tejas. M Natarajan also explained the utility of the aircraft as an UCAV(Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle), its missions profile will have tremendous possibilities. After 9 years, HAL has finally started the work on Natrajan’s brainchild. A team has already started working on getting the pilot out of Tejas.
Tejas is one of the perfect platform to work on unmanned concept, its cost per unit and the size of the aircraft allow to work on such projects. The concept was actually born due to cheaper price which could get much lower, if the human support systems, ejection seats and cockpit avionics lost their place on aircraft it can cut cost of the product dramatically. Combat worthiness of the aricraft still have many doubts but the aircraft could be use for target practice as drones and fire tests.
Tejas UCAV could be the techonology demonstrator for future UCAV and bring Indian forward in the market of combat drones, with the capabilities of autonomous takeoff and landing along with the need of zero human assistance to carry out any mission Unammaned Teajs can open enormous possibilities of development as well business for India.