Thursday, November 19, 2015

2nd Nishant Drone Crash In 15 Days

An Indian-built Nishant unmanned surveillance drone has crashed in Western India, the second crash involving the platform in just over two weeks. As it turns out, the bird that went down today was the last of four units contracted by the Indian Army in 2011 -- the only operator at present. According to reports this week, the programme is as good as dead now, with the Army also officially deciding not to purchase any more Nishant drones. The DRDO has attempted to push the rail-ramp launched drone to other services and the paramilitary, but with no success so far. Last year, it began testing a wheeled version of the Nishant, designated Panchi near Bengaluru.

Like several other programmes involving the DRDO, the Nishant programme has been jinxed by a spiral of capability obsolescence, mutual stubbornness between the DRDO and customer services and a simple lack of coherent technology. This has been amplified by drones built by incubation companies at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), funded and brought to maturity by private firms, which either match or outclass the technologies that platforms like the Nishant boast of. The DRDO claims to work closely with the IITs on programmes, and does have collaborative projects in drone technology -- though most of these are highly undermatched against the simplest off-the-shelf drones available in recreational stores.

The Nishant was a low-cost project, or at least intended to be one. The Army pulling out from it leaves the project at starting point with a big write-off bill in the bargain.

8 comments :

IIT-engineer said...

"The DRDO claims to work closely with the IITs on programmes, and does have collaborative projects in drone technology -- though most of these are highly undermatched against the simplest off-the-shelf drones available in recreational stores."

Do you have any basis for this rather exaggerated claim ? Drones crash - it happens to ISraeli drones as well as American drones. What basis or factual evidence do you have to substantiate your claim that the collaborative projects the DRDO has are highly "under matched against the simplest of off the shelf drones" ?

anonymous said...

You can just look at it and say that the army want wrong. Its bulky, almost no wind tunnel testing done... What was DRDO thinking? Any kid can design something better than this.

Anonymous said...

I'm sick & tired of this Nishant..
But coming on a day as this, it feels rather strange indeed that Not a single word has been spoken here on Col.Mahadik's martyrdom !
What kinda defense correspondent are you Mr.Aroor??
Who gives a damn for these DRDO junks anymore when we're losing real men in flesh & blood...a highly trained, motivated, battle-tested SF officer in this case, and a veritable leader for tomorrow.
It was a big loss for the country in general and IA as an organization in particular...
Going into future we need more such highly capable SForces officers as leaders executing punitive surgical strikes deep inside enemy territories...Looking into his service record, I feel it was such a big loss that cannot be over-emphasized...
Our clandestine capabilities are rather circumspect in my opinion and every SF officer is a gem. We should not lose them so cheaply to drug-infused Islamic low-lifes..

Tako Nada said...

Good, if after so many years DRDO can't muster the basic drone technology then how come they will make Aura non armed drone rustom1??

Anonymous said...

as usual DRDO f***Ks it up again, first Ecuador Dhruv Crashes and contract cancellation, now this. Why dont we outsource this to competent pvt sector under make in India and keep these clowns out. Dis-invest this loss making monstrosity, and set us on the path to real progress.

Anonymous said...

Please point out the specific technologies in which the Nishant is undermatched?
And similarly, how are the simplest drones undermatched against civilian alternatives off of hobby stores.
Please be specific.

Anonymous said...

We need a technical audit that points out exact deficiencies to be addressed.
Every product has glitches , these are ironed out over time. There are well known examples , IAF used MiG-21 for 40 years & Army used T-72 so farą¤®.

dubey27 said...

I saw it coming.2 crashes in 15 days,it seems to be a certain design. DRDO' s loss is someone's gain