Indian Army for SR-UAV
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.