India has developed indigenous UAV engines for unmanned aerial targeting system UAV Lakshya and UAV Nishant. A jet engine PTAE-7 has been developed as a sustainer engine for Lakshya. A rotary engine is under development for Nishant.
PTAE-7 engine, developed by HAL Engine Test Bed Research & Development Center (ETBR&DC) is a single rotor engine producing 380 kg of thrust at maximum RPM of 29500. It has an altitude of 10 kms and weighs 72 Kg. The engine has completed type certification and is flown on lakshya.
The rotary engine being developed for Nishant is a joint program between Vehicle Research Development Establishment ( VRDE ), National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE). The engine has been test flown on Nishant and is awaiting the production of prototypes.
DRDO is working on an Integrated UAV engine development program with participation of academia. The development of engines in this program include Reciprocating gasoline engine for 120 hp class, Reciprocating heavy fuel engines for 150 hp class and turbofan engines of 250 and 500 kg class.
Some research projects include adapting low cost accessories of automobiles for UAV application, Solar cell, fuel Cell, thrust vectoring, low cost engine philosophy for one time use targets and propulsion system for small expendable aerial targets.