Ulka target drone
India has been working to develop UAVs since the end of the Cold War. Thes first effort, the Falcon, was subsequently renamed Nishant. Under any name, the army rejected Falcon because it failed to meet its technical requirements. The Defence Research and Development Organisation then designing two UAVs based on Nishant. One is a low-cost aerial target and reconnaissance system. Kapothaka, a smaller version of Nishant, had a flight endurance of 90 minutes and was able to carry a payload of 20kg.
Ulka (Sanskrit: meteor or firebrand), the second project, was able to simulate the speed and altitude of a variety of enemy aircraft using false radar signatures. Ulka was earlier simply known as MT (Missile Target). It was designed to be launched from subsonic or supersonic aircraft, and perform missions between 50 feet and 13,000 feet at 1.4 times the speed of sound. The avionics for these projects came from the Aeronautical Development Agency. Ulka is the first Indian aerial vehicle to incorporate a canard configuration. It is used for defensive training of surface-to-air missile crews against anti-ship missiles and for development testing and evaluation of air defense systems.
Established in 1959 under Defence R & D Organisation, Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) is a frontline laboratory in the field of aeronautical design and development solutions. The thrust areas of R&D here include unmanned air vehicles’ design and development, flight control system (FCS) development and flight simulation. ADE has grown into a system house keeping abreast with the state-of-the-art technologies for the development of Pilotless Target Aircraft, Unmanned Reconnaissance and Surveillance Air Vehicles, FCS development for modern combat aircraft and advanced engineering and training simulators for manned and unmanned aircrafts.
ADE has been and is engaged in the development of twelve different unmanned aerial vehicle systems, some of which are missile Target-ULKA, Pilotless Target Aircraft-LAKSHYA, Technology Demonstrator for low speed RPV-SPARROW, low speed reconnaissance and remotely piloted vehicle-NISHANT, Technology demonstrator for MALE UAV-RUSTOM 1, MALE UAV-RUSTOM H, and controlled aerial delivery system-CADS, Laser guided bomb-SUDARSHAN and Micro Air Vehicle.
|Launch weight||360 kg|
|Power plant||Solid booster|
|Speed||0.7 to 1.1|
|Range||70 km (max.)|
|Altitude||100 m to 9 km|
|Endurance||5 min (max.)|