AERO INDIA 2011: Other Stuff To Look Forward To

Apart from the usual goodies, there's a lot to look forward to at Aero India next month in Yelahanka. The Aero India technical sessions seminar that runs parallel to the show has some promising stuff this year that will add to what we've been talking about for much of the last couple of years. And if the last few years are any indication, they'll add substantially to what we already know. Here's what I'll be looking out for:

1. A presentation titled "Tactical and Strategic UAV design and development activities at ADE" by Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) associate director G Shivashankaran should throw valuable light not just on the Rustom-1 and Rustom-H medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAVs, but the secretive AURA stealth UCAV, the existence of which was unknown until it was scooped here on Livefist. Hopefully some insights into where the feasibility study on the UCAV programme actually stands.

2. Aeronautical Development Agency director PS Subramanyam, who provided excellent insights into the stealth features of the AMCA concept, will be making a presentation titled "Combat Aircraft for Tomorrow", which will hopefully provide much more on the AMCA, especially in the light of the FGFA programme progression.

3. We'll hopefully know more about India's Helina air-launched anti-armour missile from DRDL principal director KS Vara Prasad's presentation, titled (a touch, drily) "HELINA Long Range Air-to-Ground Missile for Attack Helicopters". Hopefully there will be more than brochure bluster in Indian Army Aviation additional director general Maj Gen PK Bharali's presentation, promisingly titled "Ideal Helicopters for High Altitude Operation".

4. There's an interesting presentation being made by two Wing Commanders from the IAF's Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) titled "Integration of Western Systems/Weapons on Russian Fighter Aircraft".

5. We haven't heard a lot recently from India's Astra BVRAAM programme. The project director S Gollakota will be presenting "Emerging Technologies in Missile Development".

6. Not much hope here, but Sukhoi Design Bureau deputy chief Dr Dmitry Strelets will be presenting "Innovations, the basis of International Cooperation", and will hopfully use the PAK-FA/FGFA as his model, and not some hypothetical platform.

7. Finally, a technology roadmap on India's high-altitude airship programme will be presented by ML Sidana of the civil National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL).

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