Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Navy’s Own MRUAV Takes Shape


When it comes to tailor-made solutions for multi-spectrum maritime surveillance, it is the Indian Navy, and not the DRDO, that is in the driver’s seat. Adopting a hands-on approach, Navy HQ, along with state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and the MALAT Division of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has begun co-developing what is called the Maritime Rotary UAV (MRUAV). IAI/MALAT refers to this vertical takeoff-and-landing UAV as the NRUAV. The fuselage for this vertical takeoff and landing UAV will be the same as that of a HAL-built SA.316B Alouette III/Chetak helicopter, while its upgraded powerplant will be the HAL/Turbomeca Ardiden 1H/Shakti engine mated to a newly-designed gearbox. Its principal on-board sensors will include a belly-mounted IAI-supplied EL/M-2022H(V)2 multi-mode radar, a nose-mounted stabilised MOSP optronic turret housing a low-light-level TV camera as well as a thermal imager, a four-element radar warning receiver developed by the DRDO’s Defence Avionics Research Establishment (DARE), two-way secure data links, HAL-built Mk12 Mode 5 IFF transponder, and a rear-mounted Harpoon deck-arresting gear. Also being co-developed are the shipborne VSAT terminals and ground control stations, with the latter being a derivative of that for the Heron 2 UAV. The MRUAV’s conceptual design was first displayed by IAI/MALAT in Bangalore in February last year during the Aero India 2007 exhibition. The principal role of the MRUAV will include beyond-the-horizon surveillance, over-the-horizon targeting, ELINT, COMINT, ground mapping and location of moving ground-based targets, and airborne early warning. The MRUAV will not carry any on-board weapons for the moment, but could in future be armed with a single heavyweight torpedo or two lightweight torpedoes.

Development of such a UAV can rightly be described as ‘path-breaking’, and the Chetak’s airframe was a logical choice as it was not only available in plenty within India, but it also has a tricycle undercarriage (as opposed to fixed landing skis) that facilitates the UAV’s landing even in choppy waters in the high seas, thereby ensuring safe recovery on board the mother vessel. The project was conceived in 2005 and is the brainchild of none other than the current Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who initiated this project while he was FOC-in-C Eastern Naval Command and concurrently also one of the government-appointed Directors of HAL. “We are working with HAL to develop a new-generation UAV on a helicopter platform. It will be a path-breaking initiative and transform naval warfare,” Admiral Mehta remarked earlier this month. HAL Chairman and Managing Director Dr Ashok K Baweja revealed on February 6 this year that the MoD’s funding and sanction for the project were already getting into place and it will be started soon. “We have finalised the concept. The project clearance is on the way. We will start it shortly,” he said. When asked about involvement of a foreign technological/industrial partner in the project, Dr Baweja said that HAL has already identified the foreign partner for the project, but did not divulge further details. “We have already identified the foreign partner. We will require their help in the project as there are certain inputs that we will need,” he admitted. He added that the payload package of the rotary-winged VTOL-UAV, apart from surveillance equipment, will include twin auxiliary fuel tanks for increasing the UAV’s flight endurance.—Prasun K. Sengupta

Note: This story should be viewed as complementing the 3-part story on the NRUAV posted earlier by Shiv Aroor at http://livefist.blogspot.com

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

to prasun

how much this upgrade will cost and how many helos will b upgraded in this deal

any info on tu142 upgrade that how much it costed

Anonymous said...

to prasun

i have heard that navy is going to buy extra three frigates from russia after advanced talwar delivered in 2012,can u verify this

Anonymous said...

to prasun

su30 series can carry 8tons of payload but it is restricted to
6tons for structural integrity

is same thing applies to rafale and f18s/h and typoon

but su30 has more internal fuel than rafale and f18s/h and typhoon
so it has no need of external tanks

su30 has 262kN thrust to support its payload compared to 196kM thrust in f18s/h,180kN thrust in typhoon,150kN thrust in rafale

aren't f18s/h,rafale ,typhoon get bulky or inferior thrust to weight ration when fully loaded cuz their thrust is waaay less than su30 series

Anonymous said...

will these helos carry torpedos

Anonymous said...

Why you had to rename NRUAV as MRUAV

Max said...

@Prasun

Are the helicopters planned for use used old units that were serving the forces or newly manufactured ones?

Does it mean Aerospatiale has to supply kits that will be assembled by HAL? Or is HAL building itself and paying royalties to Aerospatiale for their design?

And how long is development planned to take place before a concept takes to the skies?

And finally I presume only our Navy will be purchasing it isn't it?

Max said...

@Prasun

It's OK, questions answered. Didn't read Shiv's article when I made my last comment. Everything's there.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@5.40PM: Judging by the scope of the modification, each such MRUAVC will not cost more than US$5 million. There's no information of the Tu-142M upgrade as the upgrades to the eight aircraft have not yet been carried out.

To Anon@5.42PM: No, they won't be frigates but destroyers under Project 15B, for which global tenders will be issued, much like those for the Project 17A FFG programme.

To Anon@10.34PM: Read the story carefully where it says the Indian Navy will call it the MRUAV, while IAI will market it globally as the NRUAV. I'm not giving it any specific name, it was the current CNS who gave it the name during the DEFEXPO'08 expo last February. Just as the Indian Navy calls the LR-SAM the Barak-2, while IAI/RAFAEL calls it the Barak-8.

To Max: The existing Alouette III airframes will be modified into the MRUAV configuration. Eurocopter stopped producing both the Lama and Alouette III way back in 1988. Two NRUAV prototypes will be co-developed by HAL & IAI for flight certification purposes and the first production MRUAVs could enter service by mid-2010.

left wing nut job said...

Prasun,
If this UAV will use EL/M-2022 radar and the naval Dhruv is canned, where does that leave the SV-2000 radar?

Will that product fade away as well or will it be recycled into a naval version of Rustom or another UAV?

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The Supervision SV-2000 radar will in all probability be on board those shipborne Dhruv ALHs destined for the Indian Coast Guard. As such, these radars will be used for coastal patrol, SAR and limited EEZ surveillance. Its main drawback is that it cannot be used as an inverse synthetic aperture radar (this mode being required for maritime target profiling) and therefore unless it is upgraded to incorporate the ISAR mode, then I'm afraid this radar will not even be on board the Do-228s or the yet-to-be-selected medium-range maritime patrol aircraft that the Coast Guard requires.

anushka said...

Sorry 4 straying off topic honey.

got nothing 2 ask about this as its self xplanatory

About your reply @9:33:00 AM what r d chances of coast guard using the nal saras rather than dornier 228?

looking 4ward 2 ur opinion on dat!

ΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩΩ

left wing nut job said...

If the SV-2000 were to be upgraded with an ISAR mode, will it be mostly a software or hardware upgrade?

Thanks,

Prasun K Sengupta said...

The problem with the Saras is that it was created, designed and developed by scientists from NAL. Therefore from an engineering standpoint the Saras is not financially viable for series production. In addition, the Saras is designed as a 14-seat aircraft whereas the Do-228-211 (the latest variant) is a 19-seater. Lastly, the Saras has a long way to go before receiving its certificate of airworthiness and I'm sure both the Navy & Coast Guard will not be willing to wait that long to fulfill its near-term requirements for coastal maritime patrol aircraft.

To: left wing nut job: Both. But if I were to be the SV-2000's Project Director, I would use the existing LRUs of the SV-2000 (minus the radar antenna) and integrate them with the front-end of the EL/M-2052 AESA of IAI (similar to what is now being done with the LCA's MMR programme) and upgrade the SV-2000 into a multi-mode search radar (with enhanced AEW capabilities) capable of being installed on board both fixed-wing maritime patrol/ASW aircraft as well as shipborne medium-lift ASV/ASW/AEW helicopters.

anushka said...

ok thanx a lot 4 ur opinion.

but just between me n u what do u think is da future of saras? who in ur opinion will employ it in forseeable future? i heard recently sureesh mehta saying that navy is considering it 2 replace its fleet of dorniers. can u confirm this?

and saras has ability to lift more weight than dornier. dornier is 19 passengers + crew but saras is 14 ex crew. So difference is just 3 people. With the ability for xtra weight im sure they can squeeze in another 3. If they really need to ferry maximum people then they shd buy a Dornier 328 rather. and size can keep on getting bigger and bigger to no limit.

According to NAL FAR250 / cert of airworthiness expected by 09 - 10 and production can start by 2011. They have already selected HAL over Tata AS and Mahindra Aero for building it. No way IN / ICG r gonna make order for Dorniers before 2009 and for delivery will take ~ 2 yrs so by then saras shd be out ready whats there to wait?

Of course i noe u r not representing navy / CG 4 me 2 b arguing with u but would juz like 2 read ur opinion as there is nobody else out there as proficient whos willing to engage in discussion with anybody irrespective of their identity / background but u.

Anonymous said...

Saras has significantly better range and maximum speed than Do228

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anushka: Actually, the Do-228s were ordered about four years ago and are now being delivered to the Navy & Coast Guard. So there's no question of choosing either the Do-228 or Saras. The future requirements for the Navy call for the procurement of medium-range maritime reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft that should also be capable of ASW, while the Coast Guard requires MRMR aircraft only. Being proposed for the Navy's MRMR/ASW aircraft are the turboprop ATR-72MP & C-295MPA, and Dassault's Falcon 900MPA & Embraer's P-99A jet-powered platforms. For the Coast Guard the ATR-42MPA Surveyor and C-295 or CN-235MPA are being proposed. Therefore, as you can see, both the Navy & Coast Guard require MRMR aircraft that are much more capable than the Saras (in terms of MTOW, endurance and internal cabin volume).
From the above, you can judge for yourself that the Saras will clearly not fit the operational requirements of either the IN or ICGS.Even if HAL were to develop the Saras as a coastal maritime patrol aircraft, it will not be available until 2014 as the aircraft will first have to undergo flight certification (by 2010), followed by that of the aircraft's mission management system/mission sensor suite, which will take at least another three years (till 2013), that is, assuming that the DRDO can come up with such mission suites or facilitate the selection of imported mission suites. Both the Navy and ICGS, on the other hand, want their MRMR platforms by 2011.

Anonymous said...

to prasun

To Anon@5.42PM: No, they won't be frigates but destroyers under Project 15B, for which global tenders will be issued, much like those for the Project 17A FFG programme.
-----------------------------------------------------
no prasun it was posted in SHIV'S
BLOG couple of months ago that navy is palnning to order further
3 frigates after 3 being built in russia

Anonymous said...

to prasun

can u verify

navy critisized that SEA DRAGON
suite of il 38sd aircraft failed to discover a submarine which was a distance target to it
===============================================

now if a destroyer with various types of sonars including towed arry sonars,supported by two anti submarine helicopter can't detect submarines easily then how can navy blame SEA DRAGON SUITE for not detecting submarine or did they cheked the ELECTRONIC sensor suite on P8 will it detect submarines

or was it just propoganda to buy
P8I from US,each tu142 can fly upto 15 hours continously compared to 4 hours of flight and has the double the payload

each upgraded tu142 can do the work of 2.5 P8I in singl flight due to its superior range,does navy find itself short legged by buying P8I cuz P8 better b described as medium range MMA not long range

and how does kamov28 matches sea king in ASW

Anonymous said...

breifing about SU30MKI IN red flag

part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzhEV5RiwFk&feature=related

part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG793hI8vW8&feature=related

anushka said...

ok thanx bro 4 ur explanation. appreciate it.

Can u just answer these questions based on what u know?

a. i read many articles that say iaf r interested in replacing their dorniers with saras. [eg. see http://www.nasscom.in/Nasscom/templates/NormalPage.aspx?id=54564 ]. Pls gimme your take on this.

b. in ur opinion what can plausibly b future applications 4 saras in forseeable future?

thanxxxx..

Anonymous said...

90 su 35bm can do air to air engagement work of
126 rafales,mig35,f18s/h,f16blk60 gripen NG because of
its 117s supercruising engines,irbis e radar and more internal fuel to stay in air,and more air to air missile to carry in one go

Anonymous said...

whats up next, doc?

Anonymous said...

to prasun

i am very curious to know about what is SIVA POD on su30mki

and how it works with TARANG RWR

Anonymous said...

from drdr wikipedia

The latest variant of the Tempest jamming system is capable of noise, barrage, as well as deception jamming as it makes use of DRFM (Digital radio frequency memory)
------------------------------------------------------
what does it mean ,is drdo successful in making DRFM jammers

Prasun K Sengupta said...

To Anon@3:05PM: I'm not aware of anyone from the Indian Navy officially criticising the Sea Dragon mission management/sensor suite on board the IL-38SD. The fact remains that even the best of the best suites will require at least two years to be fully understood and exploited. That is because the ground-based support systems for such suites take some time to come on line and until then one must have to contend with premature failures and shortcomings. But all thios does not mean that the suites are not up to the specified performance parameters. Most importantly, the end-user being the only customer thus far for the Sea Dragon, has to evolve its own maintenance practices which in turn will be standardised only after the operator gains appreciable hands-on experience with the suite. All this takes time, as the complete IL-38SD system and Sea Dragon suite are not being mass-produced like automobiles. They are made to order and therefore will take some time for the bugs to be identified and fixed.

To Anushka: For an aircraft like the Saras, even an aircraft manufacturer with low labour costs will have to receive firm orders for at least 65 aircraft for the entire project to beak-even financially. This is not the case at present. Even if the IAF and Navay and Army place orders for this aircraft, it will not exceed 40 in all. Also, you must note that if such aircraft made any financial sense, then the Russians, Brazilians (Embraer) and the Chinese (AVIC-2) would have developed such aircraft types a long time ago. Personally, i believe the Saras will be successful only if it is powered by turbofans, and not pusher-props. As a S & T-based R & D project it is fine, but in commercial terms, the project will never see the light of the day. That's why commercial aircraft operators like Jet Airways or Kingfisher are more likely to opt for regional STOL jets like the ERJ-140 and ERJ-145.
The Saras still does not compare with the Do-228-211 since the latter can accommodate a two-man crew + 19 passengers. Therefore, in terms of direct operating costs per flying hour, the Do-228 is much cheaper than the Saras in terms of operating expenses.

To Anon@3:20PM: The SIVA is an HADF pod, for high-accuracy direction-finding. As such it will be used primarily for detecting the emissions emanating from ground-based airspace surveillance radars, gapfiller radars, and tracking/engagement radars and using their emissions to build up an electronic threat library, after which the Kh-31P-type anti-radiation missiles will be employed for suppression/destruction of enemy air defences (SEAD/DEAD)
The Tarang radar warning receiver is just a warning aid for the aircraft's aircrew to be forewarned about hostile radar emissions (from the ground, sea and air) so that they can either jam them or take evasive action.

Anonymous said...

to prasun

what is the range of kh-31

is 110km range kh-31 in IAF inventory or it just 70km range

Anonymous said...

fucking chines even started reverse engineer KH-31,kilo sub,j11,kh-55,r-27 license bought from ukrain and whats not

Anonymous said...

to prasun

from wikipedia it says that

seeker used in r 77 missile has been adopted for longer range r27
missile with a range of 130 km

and anoher is that there is also a
longer range varient of AA10 IR with range of 120 km compared to older aa10 IR missile with 70km range

so does IAF has any of these missiles in inventory

Anonymous said...

to prasun

isn't it our own lazzyness that v can't modernize the air to air missiles v bought like r27

like locally upgade them with better seekers and with mid course guidance etc cuz v r alrady testing these things on ASTRA

Anonymous said...

y not use AA12 missiles on mirage 2000 rather than MICA cuz aa12 has better range and cheaper than mica

Anonymous said...

like every1 else is prasun. he started posting 2 n 3 articles a day n now just one in 2 n 3 days. i guess thats all the stories he has.

Prasun K Sengupta said...

More than two years ago an IAF official was quoted by FORCE as saying that due to the IAF's large inventory of R-27R/T AAMs, the Mirage 2000H/THs would be armed with these missiles after the aircraft had been upgraded through the installation of an open-architecture avionics suite. Therefore don't be surprised if in future you see the Mirage 2000 armed with Popeye Lite and Kh-31A/P missiles.

To Anon@11:41AM: Oey! Stop whining & guessing! Have patience! Am outstation to witness live-firing exercises somewhere in the Andaman Sea.

Anonymous said...

live-firing exercises somewhere in the Andaman Sea.

please elaborate

and please change this PAKI-GREEN colour theme u r using. No worries the skin is not important. whats important is the content. all we need is a eye pleasing skin. and so long is not PAKEEEE related we r fine

Anonymous said...

WHY does the 1st brochere say IAI / MALAT OFFERS ITS NRUAV ???

It's not IAI / MALAT's ?? the chetak idea came from HAL / INDIA.

PLS explain.

Chus said...

Nurse in Times Square war photo reunites with Navy :D