In­dian Army for SR-UAV

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

In an ef­fort to aug­ment its fleet of tac­ti­cal sur­veil­lance un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles (UAVs), the In­dian Army is on the look­out for an un­spec­i­fied num­ber of short-range UAV (SR-UAV). The Army cur­rently op­er­ates a small fleet of IAI Searcher Mk.2 drones. In­ci­den­tally, the first batch of in­dige­nously de­vel­oped Nis­hant UAVs, cur­rently in their fi­nal phase of tri­als, will be­gin op­er­a­tions with Army units this year. The spec­i­fi­ca­tions laid down by the Army mir­ror those of the in-ser­vice IAI-built sys­tems. The Army is look­ing for an all weather, day/night short-range sys­tem ca­pa­ble for op­er­a­tions over all ter­rain, in­clud­ing high­alti­tude and desert. The In­dian Army’s UAV op­er­a­tions have ex­panded dra­mat­i­cally in the last few years, most re­cently to keep tabs on the Chi­nese in­cur­sion in Ladakh. Pic­tures taken from a Searcher Mk.2 of the in­tru­sion were cir­cu­lated dur­ing high-level brief­ings be­tween the Army and Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice and NSA. Doc­tri­nally too, with each ser­vice look­ing to bol­ster its fleet of un­manned sys­tems, the Army will look to­wards long-range sys­tems like the Navy and IAF. At this time, the Army is also look­ing for a stand-off loi­ter­ing weapon.

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