Skip to main content

India secretly inducted two US made Predator Sea Guardian drone

Sea Guardian/ Sky Guardian drone. Credit : General atomics aeronautical

 Indian Navy has secretly inducted two sea-guardian drone into its fleet at mid-November, 2020. This is a very significant development. The Unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs are going to play a major role in security and surveillance for all the three services of armed forces. 

The Sea guardian or sometimes known as Sky guardian is an upgraded version of MQ-9B Predator drone with better sensor/weapon systems, longer endurance and lifetime. Sea guardian is a medium-altitude long endurance Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) drone. It has a wing span of 24 meter, length of 11 meter. The Sea guardian drone uses a Honeywell TPE331-10 Turboprop engine that can provide a top speed of  210 KTOS (Knots true air speed) or 390 kmph. It has a service ceiling of 40000 feet and has a maximum endurance of 40 hours. It uses Raytheon MTS-B EO(Electro-optical)/IR(Infra red) sensor and GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar with both X-band and Ku/Ka-band capability. Indian armed forces are planning to acquire such drones to boost its UAV capabilities. Indian Navy has leased two such drones for one year. There are chances of induction of more such drones in near future.

The sea guardian drones can be used for both Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission. It is a ship and submarine hunter-killer drone. Its main feature includes :
  • Raytheon MTS-B EO/IR
  • GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar
  • VHF/UHF certified radios
  • DO-178 and DO-254 design assurance for software and avionics
  • De-ice/Anti-ice system
  • Sense and Avoid (TCAS/ADS-B/IFF – with provisions for Due Regard Radar)
  • STANAG 4671 compliant type certifiable design
  • 40,000 hour design service life
  • Weather capable
  • Damage tolerant airframe
  • Lightning protection
  • Automatic takeoff and land
  • Fire protected engine bay
  • Other customer specific payloads
Indian Navy is using an un-armed variant of this drone; but in coming years, India may go for armed variant of this drone too for all the three services of its armed forces.  


Popular posts from this blog

Next generation turbo-fan engine for combat aircraft: GE XA100

United states aerospace giant General Aviation has successfully tested a prototype of next generation turbo-fan engine for combat aircraft. The engine named GE XA100 is claimed to have an increase thrust of 10% and an improve fuel efficiency of 25%. This will in turn increase the range of a fighter jet by 35%.  Image courtesy: General Electric Aviation (GE Aviation) official website According to General Electric official website, the XA100-GE-100 engine combines three key innovations to deliver a generational change in combat propulsion performance: An adaptive engine cycle that provides both a high-thrust mode for maximum power and a high-efficiency mode for optimum fuel savings and loiter time A third-stream architecture that provides a step-change in thermal management capability, enabling future mission systems for increased combat effectiveness Extensive use of advanced component technologies, including ceramic matrix composites (CMC), polymer matrix composites (PMC), and additive

The era of hypersonic technology

  On 7th September 2020, India's Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) demonstrated hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology with the test of Hypersonic Technology Demonstration Vehicle from  Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island in Bay of Bengal.  The Press Information Bureau (PIB) of India in a press release said, " The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres (km), where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated at hypersonic Mach number. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned. The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound i.e., nearly 02 km/second for more than 20 seconds. The critical events like fuel injection and auto ignition of scramjet demonstrated technological maturity. The scramjet engine performed in a tex