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Maiden Test-Flight of UAV Panchi (Drone)
Dec 29, 2014

Panchi, the wheeled version of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Nishant capable of taking-off and landing using small airstrips had its maiden flight lasting about 20 minutes on December 24. This flight was preceded by a series of high speed taxi trials.

Nishant, which has an underbelly airbag, is launched by a catapult, and lands with the help of an onboard parachute. Panchi has all the surveillance capabilities of Nishant, but it can stay in the air longer because it does not have to carry the airbag and the parachute systems of the other. It is also a light vehicle with its body made of composites, and has a high degree of stealth because it has a low radar cross-section signature.

The conventional UAV Nishant already inducted in Army is a multi-mission UAV with Day/Night operational capability, launched from an all-terrain hydro-pneumatic launcher and is recovered with the help of on board parachute system and an underbelly airbag.

 It is designed for battlefield surveillance and reconnaissance, target tracking and localization, and artillery fire correction. The electro-optic payloads are mounted on a stabilized steerable platform. A sophisticated image processing system is used for analyzing the images transmitted from the UAV. The aircraft has a jam resistant command link and digital down link for transmission of imagery. The air vehicle has autonomous flight capabilities and is controlled from a user friendly
Ground Control Station.

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