Lt. Gen. A.K. Suri, Director General of Army Aviation, asserted on Tuesday that the Army is looking to create a separate cadre for operating its unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), while a senior Indian Air Force (IAF) official mentioned that a proposal to develop an indigenous unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) has been taken up.

During a conference on UAVs put up by the Centre for Air Power Studies, Lt. Gen. Suri said, “This cadre will consist of operators who are capable of piloting and will decrease the burden on helicopter pilots.” He stated that for the the past 20 years, the Indian Army has used UAVs, mainly along its northern and western borders. A substantial chunk of the monitoring is performed by them.

Air Marshal Radhish noted that by 2026, India’s “unmanned market” is anticipated to be have expanded substantially to ranked as the third-largest global market.