Despite the extensive use of UAVs by the Indian armed forces, at Bangalore, unmanned aircraft were shadowed by the MRCA fighter program. Only two systems were displayed in the static park – the Indian Nishant and British Herti with few more were displayed inside the exhibition halls, particularly at the Israeli pavilion.
The DRDO displayed the Nishant with its new Advanced Ground Control System (AGCS), configured to meet current and future UAV programs. The system uses four ergonomically designed consoles for the piot, mission commander, payload operator and image exploitation functions. Each console comprises a 21.3″ high resolution TFT display supporting picture-in-picture capability, supporting the presentation of payload imagery, electronic maps (in raster and vector modes).
BAE Systems’ HERTI fully autonomous unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was making its international public debut at the exhibition. HERTI, is one of a new generation of UAVs suitable for both military and civil operations. It has been designed to perform to perform maritime, coastline and border surveillance through Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) missions, equipped with the Imagery Collection & Exploitation (ICE) system also developed by BAE Systems. The company demonstrated the production configuration vehicle with operational ground station providing replays of missions carried out during HERTI’s recently completed flight test program which took place at the Woomera range in southern Australia. Another UAV, the Sperwer, was displayed in model form by the French company Sagem.
Three Israeli companies displayed UAVs in anticipation for a Small UAV program, expected to be launched by the Indian Army. At Aero-India 2007, Elbit Systems displayed its Skylark II while IAI brought two versions of the I-View, the lightweight I-View 50 and heavier I-View 250, recently selected by the Australian Army. The RAFAEL’s Skylite B mini-UAV was also present. Among the mini-UAVs, EADS displayed the Tracker, developed under a French Army contract. Aero-India 07 provided the debut for a new UAV specialist, the Indian company Speck, which introduced an impressive capability for designing and operating unmanned systems, as well as providing image collection, interpretation and mapping services. The company displayed models of several mini UAVs, including the small Baaz, which is slated to undergo Indian Army trials.