Did India requested the US to supply Avenger combat Drone
US Media Bloomberg reported that Indian Air force sends a expression of interest (EoI) letter to General Atomics to know the capability of Avenger next generation unmanned combat vehicle. The EoI is a formal know how letter, to read the actual capabilities of the program. Avenger is the most advanced combat drone available today, Who yet to see combat missions. The Avgener program still on development and testing stages. While US and Canada yet to order those Platforms from GA.
Indian Air force is in full swing to modernize the fighter aircraft fleet, support platforms, air defense systems and the unmanned fleet. India recently inks a deal to buy Israeli Eitan armed drone's for some $400 millions, the delivery's commence from 2017. Meanwhile the Indigenous Rustom 2 all set to perform airborne trails before the end of this year. IAF operates variety of drones from small to High altitude long endurance drones. However India yet to operates or demonstrated an attack drone. Since Chinese and Pakistani forces already operating them.
Avenger is developed from the MQ 9 Reaper drone, While the Avenger is modified with more powerful turbofan engines and internal weapon bays and reduced radar cross section. The Avenger is first in kind of stealth drones, primarily designed to strike targets deep behind enemy lines in a contested air space. which is perfectly suits Indian's need of Strike targets deep behind Pakistan, more clearly anywhere in Pakistan.
The Avenger comes with some extraordinary modern sensor packages and electronic counter measure systems. The primary Radar in the Avenger is the Lynx SAR radar. which is used for surveillance and target tracking. The SAR images can be analyzed in the ground control center and the Avenger's EO/IR sensors can lock the target and launch missiles for precision kills.
The Avenger carries a modified model of EOTS systems which is used in the F 35. EOTS is an advanced technology of evolved OSF and IRST, which uses infrared's to detect targets both in ground and air. The EOTS can track, classify, lock and launch laser guided missiles at longer ranges. During an evaluation EOTS performed pin point strike at the range of some sixty kilometers. The EOTS in the Avenger called as Advanced low observable embedded reconnaissance and targeting system or ALERT.
The Avenger can fly as much as height of some 50,000 feet, well above from civil air traffic. Avenger can stay in the air for long time to continuously patrol the designated zone for activities. Avenger can continuously fly more than eighteen hours at the speed of some 700 kmph, Avenger is the only combat drone in the world that can fly such high subsonic speed. The Avenger combat drone can be carried by the C 17 Strategic air lifter, Which can be launched from the C 17 at some specified altitude.
Avenger can carry more than 1500 kg's of payload in it's internal weapon bays, which include guided bombs and glide bombs. While the Avenger yet to fire stand off cruise missiles. The external hard points can carry guided missiles like hell fire for anti armor support. mostly used for destroying enemy mobile air defense batteries. The Internal weapons bay can reduce the RCS signatures makes the drone nearly stealth when flying at the civil traffic altitude.
|Chinese CH 4 Wingloong UAV|
The Chinese made CH 4 drone is performing strike missions in Iraq. It's clear that Pakistan too gets their hands on those drone very soon. While Indian plans are yet to materialize. The Eitan attack drones and the Rustom will perform missions only after 2018. Even if the Avenger deal initiated Indian air force gets those drones only after 2020. So there is two to three years cap in compared to China and Pakistan.
During the last MTCR Meeting, India requested the thirty four nations organization to accept India as a member. Unfortunately the countries blocked India's request. Americans presence also in the meeting, they voted in favor of Indians. The MTCR is a organization who blocks exporting armed drones and missiles who has range more than 300 kilometer and payload over 500 Kg's. Russia also in the MCTR. the reason why Brahmos missile's range capped at 300 kilometers.
So Buying the Avenger UCAV needs MTCR Membership, while US has no problem to supply drones to Indian Air force even India don't have the MTCR membership. Washington supplies most advanced US technology's to India to fight against China and Pakistan. The recent developments in Make in India program and carrier transfer technology is good examples.