India Steps Forward to Develop Next Generation ‘Unmanned’ Fighter Aircraft

India’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) has floated a tender for vendors who can supply wind tunnel model that can be tested at National Tunnel Test Facility (NWTF) at IIT Kanpur, wind tunnel model is of Futuristic Unmanned Fighter Aircraft (FUFA) program that seems to be new Stealth Wing Flying concept in works over Indian Unmanned Strike Air Vehicle (IUSAV).

Tender documents hint why it is not ISUAV, for starters, it has split rudder control surface deflection that is not seen in the ISUAV design, and second is its ability to demonstrate low supersonic speeds that are usually not found in sub-sonic Unmanned Strike aircraft.

Since it is a very initial stage, not much information has been provided but it possibly could be a new autonomous jet fighter aircraft intended to accompany manned combat jets into battle. Many countries are working to develop Unmanned Fighter Aircraft that can be used to conduct a multitude of military actions, such as strategic offensive, close air support (CAS), missile offensive, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), and destruction of enemy air defenses (DEAD).

HAL’s already is working on autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles known as CATS Warrior that can act as Loyal wingman to manned fighter jet and has a Max takeoff weight of 2,100 kg but it seems like FUFA will have a take-off weight of 5,500 kgs and can carry a 1,500 kg useful payload that more than double the capabilities of the CATS Warrior, will update with more details at later stage.

Source: IDRW


  • Shantanu K. Bansal

    Founder of IADN. He has more than 10 years of experience in research and analysis. An award winning researcher, he writes for the leading defence and security journals, think-tanks and in-service publications. He is a senior consultant at the Indian Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Shimla. Contact him at:

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