Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) in a written reply to FIDSNS, dispelled speculations that LAKSHYA is going to be converted to cruise missile. LAKSHYA aerial target is currently under regular production at HAL, Bangalore. It was designed and developed by ADE Bangalore and HAL was given ToT for serial production. Currently HAL is executing a production order of 27 LAKSHY As. LAKSHYA also has a indigenously designed and developed engine named PTAE7.
Asked about UCAV program, ADE wrote to FIDSNS that “As far as UCAV programme is concerned, ADE Bangalore has not proposed any such programme.” ADE is proposing to undertake MALE UAV programme to meet the services requirements. The broad QR’s are still under discussion with services.
ADE is currently trying to identify a production agency for regular production of NISHANT UAV. NISHANT UAV, designed and developed by ADE Bangalore, is currently under productionisation at ADE Bangalore. Army has placed the order of 12 NISHANT UA V along with ground support equipment at a cost of Rs.234 crore. ADE is in the process of identifying regular production agency.
On the status of FLUFFY Ariel Target, ADE wrote “The Fluffy target was designed and developed by ADE Bangalore in early 70s and it was used for target practice by services for Surface to Air missiles. It had a maximum endurance of 5 minutes and could be launched from the maximum altitude of 30,000 feet. After the development of reusable Aerial Target LAKSHY A, the use of Fluffy has been discontinued as the requirements can be met in a simpler and cheaper way by LAKSHYA.”