Army now wants 850 nano drones for special operations | India News


NEW DELHI: The Army now also wants to buy 850 indigenous nano drones for surveillance in special missions along the northern borders with China as well as in counter-terrorism operations through a fast-track procedure.
The request for proposal (RFP) for ’emergency procurement’ of the nano drones comes after the 12-lakh strong Army has kicked off several acquisition projects for different kinds of drones over the last few months.
Amidst the continuing 33-month-long military confrontation with China, the sheer operational utility of drones has been reinforced by the recent conflicts ranging from Armenia-Azerbaijan to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine one.
The Army is tasked to conduct special missions in conventional operations, counter-terror operations and out-of-area contingency operations, which require `enhanced situational awareness’ about potential threats in the intended target areas.
“Reconnaissance missions for these operations are currently physically conducted by small teams of soldiers acting as scouts. This not only increases the risk of casualties but also can jeopardise the entire operation,” an officer said.
The RFP said, “The existing volatile situation as prevailing along the northern borders and in the hinterland in disturbed areas mandates urgent procurement of the nano drones for enhancing immediate situational awareness of the troops.” It specified that the delivery has to be completed within a year of the contract being inked.
As reported by TOI earlier, the acquisition process for kamikaze drones, armed drone swarms, logistics drones and surveillance quadcopters, among others, for infantry battalions has already been launched.
Similarly, the Army is also going in for indigenous procurement of 80 mini remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), 10 runway-independent RPAS, 44 upgraded long-range surveillance systems and 106 inertial navigation systems to better direct long-range and high-volume firepower at enemy targets for artillery regiments.
The Army also wants to buy 12 sets of autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarms (A-SADS), each with 50-75 artificial intelligence-enabled aerial vehicles capable of communicating with control stations as well as among themselves.
While seven of these sets are meant for high-altitude areas with China, the other five drone swarms are for operations in desert areas and plains along the borders with Pakistanas reported by TOI earlier.


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