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India’s UCAV makes moves on the ground

8th November 2021 - 00:19 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi

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A conceptual scale model of the SWiFT UCAV, as displayed by the DRDO several years ago. (Gordon Arthur)

India's march towards a stealthy UCAV continues, with a taxi test of a technology demonstrator occurring recently.

The SWiFT (Stealth Wing Flying Testbed), a scaled-down 1t technology demonstrator for India’s Ghatak UCAV, recently completed low-speed taxi trials at the Aeronautical Test Range in Karnataka for the Indian Air Force.

Powered by an NPO Saturn 36MT turbofan, the demonstrator could be flown in the next few months.

The SWiFT may have satisfied some cynics about the Ghatak’s viability. However, many experts question whether the Ghatak will fly as promised around 2024-25, before the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) takes flight in 2026. The two share stealth technologies.

The Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) is also likely …

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