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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG.

Main Battle Tanks have dominated battlefields for the past hundred years since being introduced in the First World War to devastating effect. Now many countries are working on the remotely controlled or autonomous main battle tank that will allow units to increase their combat power, as it reduces the physical load on soldiers and allows additional supplies to be included in an operation such as heavy weaponry.

Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) has proposed the design and development of an UGCV-based on the MBT Arjun MK 1A tracked combat platform. The objective of the proposed project is the design, development, and field validation of a UGCV on the MBT Arjun Mk 1A, with the 120 mm main gun as the primary weapon.

The operational context of the system is long-range navigation in sandy and dunal desert terrains of Rajasthan. One of the relevant challenges in the development of the system is route planning over long distances (far beyond the perceptual ranges of the onboard sensors). Another relevant challenge is the provision of a user interface for the unmanned vehicle at a remotely placed control station, to provide contextual information to the operator.

INDIGIS is proposed to be employed to meet the above challenges. It will be used to provide the operator with a visual perspective of the operational terrain and the location of the vehicle in the terrain. Further, INDIGIS will be used to generate a feasible route for the vehicle to follow to reach an operator-defined target location in the terrain.

Defense Analysts Ranesh Rajan believes that future tanks will not be unmanned any time soon because they are required to depend on data links that may be hacked, or the signal that may be disrupted in the fog of war, other challenges are that the technology is not mature enough for the vehicle to be useful.

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