DRDO’s UAV Netra to aid in anti-terror operations

Last Updated: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 10:50

Pune: India`s defence research agency DRDO
has developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) specifically
for anti-terrorist and counter insurgency operations, which
will be inducted into the armed forces by the year-end.

The 1.5 kg UAV, called `Netra`, is a collaborative
development project between ideaForge, a company formed by a
group of Indian Institute of Technology, Powai, alumni and one
of Defence Research and Development Organisation`s Pune-based
labs, Research and Development Establishment (Engineers)
(R&DE) Pune.

DRDO scientist Dr Alok Mukherjee, who demonstrated the
UAV, here yesterday said Netra would be ready for induction
into the services within the next six months after it is
subjected to some more trial tests.

"The UAV is capable of operating in all the conflict
theatres, including urban quarters, in a situation similar to
that of the 26/11 terror attacks," he told reporters here
yesterday.

Mukerjee said the estimated cost of Netra is Rs 20
lakhs, but the price could vary if additional components like
thermal camera are added as per the requirements of the
security agencies concerned and their use.

IdeaForge, vice-president (Marketing and Operations
Unmanned Systems) Amardeep Singh said the UAV has been
designed to carry out surveillance in an area of 1.5 KM Line
of Sight (LOS) and has an endurance capacity of 30 minutes of
battery charge.

Apart from that, Netra is equipped with a resolution CCD
camera with a pan/tilt and zoom to facilitate wider
surveillance. It can also be fitted with thermal cameras to
carry out night operations.

Singh said the operational altitude of the UAV is 200
meters maximum, having a vertical take-off and landing
capacity (VTOL) and is equipped with a wireless transmitter.
In addition to that, the in-built fail-safe features allow
Netra to return to base on loss of communication or low
battery.

Asked if the UAV could function in all-weather condition,
Singh said the machine cannot be operated in rainy conditions
but research is being carried out to make Netra function even
during monsoon.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, July 3, 2010 - 10:50
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