Jammu: Serving in the war zone between Russia and Ukraine, the latest state-of-the-art “Vector and Scorpion” drone, which is India’s longest-range drone with a 65-kilometre telemetric range, is all set to undergo test trials along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh in July, ahead of its possible induction into the armed forces.
The two-in-one unmanned aerial system (UAS) is an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) drone, providing capabilities to both the military and other security forces. It exceeds the performance of the current tactical UAS platforms in most services in difficult terrains and urban environments all over the world, representatives of the company that has manufactured the drone said on Tuesday.
“Between Russia and Ukraine, they (some countries) are flying theses drones in that area (the battle zone). It will undergo a test trial on the LAC in Ladakh in July,” Kushagra Agrawal, vice-president, Roter Precision Instruments Private Limited, the firm that has manufactured the drone, told PTI.
Giving further details, he said the “Vector and Scorpion” drone was introduced last year and was recently showcased at the North Tech Symposium 2022 at the Army’s Northern Command headquarters in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur, drawing a huge response from the officers of various formations of the armed forces.
“It is the first drone that has a telemetric range of 65 kilometres. For example, if I am sitting in Udhampur, the drone can give me live feed from Jammu,” Agrawal said.
“No other Indian company can give you a 65-kilometre range,” he added.
Officials said it is an IP 66-rated drone. “That means it can fly during a drizzle. It can fly when it is snowing. It has already been tested 5,000 metres above the ground level. That makes it a fool-proof drone,” Agrawal said.
The drone is being used by the US Marine Corps, the French police and the German police.
The officials said the mathematical definition of a vector fits very well for the latest UAV from Quantum-Systems. “It can face any direction — upward, forward or down. That is exactly what the Vector from Quantum-Systems is capable of doing. A vertical take-off, energy efficient, long-range, fixed-wing flight and back to a vertical landing. All automatic, no pilot or operator input needed, just fly,” an official said.
The Vector 2-in-1 vertical take-off reconnaissance UAV is flexible and enduring, provides flight and surveillance characteristics that exceed the performance of the current UAV platforms in service all over the world.
The officials said the ability to operate in the most difficult terrain (VTOL), combined with extremely low noise emission (motor off, silent mode) makes the Vector the perfect UAV for a wide range of non-invasive aerial operations.
“An encrypted mesh IP link sends video streams up to a range of 15-plus kilometres. A flight time of up to 120 minutes speaks for itself. All combined in a compact and robust electric VTOL UAV,” the official said.
The two-in-one system design opens up further applications with the “Scorpion” configuration — by removing the wings and attaching a separate set of copter arms, a dedicated multi-copter platform becomes available for an even wider variety of mission applications — the officials said.
“Either use a VTOL fixed-wing or a conventional copter, in both cases you only need one system to train on and to deploy it on site,” an official said.
The officials said the drone gets “mission ready” in less than two minutes.
“The payload and all the general parts have the quick-lock mechanism without the need of any tools. It is a fibre-reinforced airframe with a shock-absorbing landing gear,” an official said.