India’s unmanned combat vehicles
For India it took decades of trial and error and competence building on manned target training aircraft to transit to pilotless target trainers to unmanned aerial vehicles. And now India is preparing to deploy indigenous unmanned combat vehicles that will largely close the gap that exists between the country and the leaders in the technology.
Those in contact with the Defence Research and Development Organisation since its conversion from the Defence Science Laboratory were afflicted with a mixture of consternation and a feeling of accomplishment as the transition from manned flights of target aircraft to jet assisted takeoffs on imported JATO (jet assisted take off) bottles finally led to the successful flight of the first pilotless training aircraft.
Since then progress has been achieved through projects that accumulated technological proficiency step by step from the Lakshya pilotless target aircraft through Rustom-I and Rustom-2, as per the qualitative staff requirements of the army, navy and air force.
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