Naval Ro­tary UAVs

NRuAVs are ide­ally suit­able for the dirty and danger­ous mis­sions which oth­er­wise would be un­der­taken by manned sys­tems

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NRUAVs are ide­ally suit­able for the dirty and danger­ous mis­sions which oth­er­wise would be un­der­taken by manned sys­tems

Lt Gen­eral Naresh Chand (Retd)

MA­JoR de­VeL­oP­MentS HAVe tAKen place in fixed-wing uAVs which op­er­ate from land. Some of th­ese have been adopted for op­er­at­ing from ships but spe­cial mod­i­fi­ca­tions are re­quired for take-off and land­ing which is a com­plex process. to over­come this draw­back, naval ro­tary uAVs (nRuAVs) have been de­vel­oped to op­er­ate from ships. nRuAVs can per­form all the mar­itime uAV mis­sions with the ad­di­tion of search and res­cue but with­out the prob­lems of Ôland­ing and take-of­fÕof fixed-wing uAVs. they can eas­ily be used by the navy and coast guard. they can also op­er­ate from land thus are very use­ful for cen­tral po­lice forces and home­land se­cu­rity. nRuAV can pro­vide Ôover the Hori­zonÕ sur­veil­lance which extends the reach of the ÔeyesÕof the mother ship by day and night. it is ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing an ar­ray of sen­sors in or­der to take on mul­ti­ple roles. nRuAV pro­vides the shipÕs cap­tain an in­te­gral tool for car­ry­ing out his op­er­a­tional role more suc­cess­fully as it extends the search area, al­lows more time over the tar­get area and pro­vides mission flex­i­bil­ity. nRuAVs are ide­ally suit­able for the dirty and danger­ous mis­sions which oth­er­wise would be un­der­taken by manned sys­tems.

it is more prag­matic to de­velop a nRuAV from a ex­ist­ing proven he­li­copter plat­form than to de­velop a new plat­form. it will cost less, will be more re­li­able as it is al­ready in ser­vice, short time for con­ver­sion into a ro­tary uAV and there will no re­quire­ment for strin­gent check­ing by the lo­cal avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties.

Role of NRUAV

Role of NRUAVs is sim­i­lar to fixed-wing uAVs but they can also op­er­ate with ease from a ship with much shorter re­ac­tion times. Pos­si­ble roles of nRuAV are: in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR) in­clud­ing iden­ti­fi­ca­tion

in­for­ma­tion, tar­get des­ig­na­tion and real time battle dam­age as­sess­ment.

lit­toral war­fare and pro­vide coastal sur­veil­lance.

the coun­tryÕs in­ter­est in the ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (eeZ). Sup­port search and res­cue (S&R) op­er­a­tions.

sur­face/ground con­trol sta­tions can be net­worked so that all the nRuAV re­sources of the fleet can be syn­er­gised to pro­duce a com­mon op­er­a­tional pic­ture. Such a net­work can also fa­cil­i­tate trans­fer of con­trol of nRuAVs from one con­trol sta­tion to an­other. can pro­vide real-time per­sis­tence sur­veil­lance and in­te­grated with manned mar­itime pa­trol air­craft.

in­for­ma­tion on mine coun­ter­mea­sures, hy­drog­ra­phy and me­te­o­rol­ogy.

With a to­tal en­durance of over eight hours, the Fire Scout can pro­vide more than six hours time on sta­tion with a stan­dard pay­load at 110 nau­ti­cal miles from the launch site.

Cur­rent NRUAVs

it is a medium-range uAV sys­tem which can hover for a long time over des­ig­nated area while pro­vid­ing real­time in­for­ma­tion. it is a fully au­ton­o­mous, ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing nRuAV from ship decks, con­trolled by com­mands such as ÒPoint and fly­Óand ÒPoint and LookÓ. it is de­signed for land, mar­itime and civil ap­pli­ca­tions. Launch and re­cov­ery re­quires only

PHO­TO­GRAPH: US Navy

MQ-8B Fire Scout

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