SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Indian Army is exploring the procurement of cutting-edge Cargo Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that have the potential to revolutionize the transportation of critical payloads to remote and challenging locations, particularly along the northern border with China. This initiative comes on the heels of the successful induction of Cargo Drones into the armed forces and signals India’s unwavering commitment to leveraging technology for strategic advantage.
Cargo UAVs, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are poised to play a pivotal role in transforming the way military logistics operations are conducted. These advanced aerial systems are designed to carry significant payloads over long distances, providing a seamless and efficient means of delivering essential supplies to troops stationed in remote and inaccessible terrains. With payloads exceeding 100 kilograms, these futuristic machines have the potential to reshape the battlefield landscape and provide a crucial edge to India’s defence capabilities.
In recent times, the Indian Army has been actively engaging with domestic Defense Drone startups to collaborate on the development of Cargo UAV configurations tailored to its specific operational requirements. The discussions have centred on creating UAVs capable of navigating the challenging terrain of the northern eastern border with China, ensuring the swift and secure delivery of vital resources to troops stationed in the region.
One of the key considerations driving the procurement of advanced Cargo UAVs is the demand for increased payload capacity. While current Cargo drones are capable of carrying payloads in the range of 10-20 kilograms, the Army’s vision extends far beyond these limitations. Gradually moving towards the 40-60-kilogram category, these drones are expected to function as efficient “drone mules,” responsible for transporting essential rations and supplies to troops stationed in remote and hostile environments.
For the transportation of more substantial cargo, such as small arms and ammunition, the requirement calls for Cargo UAVs with a significantly higher payload capacity, ranging from 100 to 400 kilograms. These drones will serve as the lifeline for troops stationed in challenging and far-flung locations, ensuring a steady and timely supply of critical resources.
To address the diverse and dynamic operational needs of the Indian Army, the procurement process for Cargo UAVs is considering multiple configurations. These include UAVs equipped with Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities, enabling them to maneuver with agility in constrained spaces and swiftly navigate challenging terrain. Additionally, the Army is exploring the feasibility of UAVs that can efficiently take off and land from small airstrips located at forward advance landing areas, further enhancing their operational flexibility.
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