Nishant is capable of providing day and night battle field reconnaissance, surveillance, target tracking and localization and help correct artillery fire.
It has been designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), in collaboration with Defense Electronics Applications Laboratory (DEAL), Dehradun, Research & Development Establishment (Engineers), Pune and Aerial Delivery Research & Development Establishment (ADRDE), Agra.
Nishant is capable of operating during day or night and has autonomous flight capability and jam resistant command and digital down link.
It is launched using a Mobile Hydro Pneumatic Launcher.
The Nishant is powered by a 55 hp rotary, water-cooled Wankel engine developed jointly by ADE, NAL and VRDE.
The UAV carries a Gimballed Payload Assembly (GPA), a remotely steerable payload with Day Light TV and FLIR.
Nishant UAV on display at DRDO pavilion at Aero India 2011. Photo Copyright © Vijainder K Thakur
The UAV and its payload are controlled from the Ground Control Station (GCS).
A 300m fibre optic link connects the GCS with an antenna vehicle.
The GCS features an electronic map display. It facilitates mission planning and validation, semi automatic checkout of UAV, simulation and pilot training and remote control of antenna system.
The antenna vehicle houses the RF elements of the Ground Data Terminal.
In February 2011, Nishant completed confirmatory flight trials by the Indian Army at Chandan Range in Pokharan, near Jaisalmer in Rajashthan.
Following the successful completion of the trials, the Army took delivery of a set of four Nishants and ground systems. More orders are expected.