DRDO Kapothaka Reconnaissance UAV,Indian Army
Kapothaka was a Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).It was a technology demonstrator mini-UAV for Reconnaissance.It is preceder of Nishant UAV System.
Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) undertook the development of a remotely piloted vehicle kapothaka in 1983 to develop the necessary technologies. During the next 4 years ADE developed a small RPV to validate in-flight video transmission capabilities and to implement ground take off and parachute recovery.
This programme enabled ADE to cut teeth on the intricacies of UAV design development and deployment. The endeavour culminated in successful demonstration of aerial reconnaissance using an RPV during Operation Brasstacks in September 1987. Indian Army, impressed by the unique capability provided by an RPV, formulated a “qualitative requirement” for a tactical UAV system for artillery leading to the development of Nishant UAV system.
Design and Features
THE UAV has length of 3.67 m and wingspan of 4.5 m.The UAV weighs 130 kg.The wing boom tail unit integrated with it was made of glass fibre reinforces plastic (GFRP) material whereas the fuselage is combination of aluminium and GFRP.
The UAV is equipped with TV and Panoramic cameras,providing real time imagery intelligence.
Engine and Performance
Kapothaka has powered by an conventional twin boom configuration 26 bhp piston engine.The UAV can fly with the maximum speed of 180 km/h and carry payload of 20 kg.The aircraft has endurance of 90 minutes.The service ceiling was 3000 meters.
It has a very small,low radar cross-section and was launched from a rail with rockit assistance