SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The recent war between Ukraine and Russia witnessed a significant development in the field of warfare – the emergence of low-cost loitering munitions. These munitions, also known as suicide drones, can be swiftly assembled at a record-low cost, offering a promising avenue for the development of such programs in India.
Several private sector companies in India have already made strides in this domain, and the Indian Army has inducted various loitering munitions. However, to fully leverage the potential of this technology, the focus now lies on driving down costs while maintaining high-quality standards.
Loitering munitions are a new breed of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that possess the unique ability to loiter in the air for an extended period before engaging a target. This innovative concept combines the functions of reconnaissance, surveillance, and precision strike capabilities, providing a lethal edge to the armed forces. During the recent conflict, the use of low-cost loitering munitions proved to be highly effective, prompting Indian authorities to explore and adopt such technologies.
The Indian Army has already inducted several domestically developed loitering munitions from private sector companies. However, the order quantities have remained relatively small, prompting the Army to seek ways to drive down costs further to facilitate large-scale induction. This move aims to ensure that the Indian Army has access to a diverse range of loitering munitions manufactured by various companies, enhancing its operational flexibility.
People familiar with the matter have asserted that while Indian-made loitering munitions might be cheaper than those from Israeli or European countries, they still do not match the exceptionally low costs of Russian and Iranian counterparts. As the Indian Army seeks to adopt loitering munitions in greater numbers, reducing costs becomes imperative to achieve economies of scale.
To address this challenge, the Indian Army is actively engaging with private sector companies to explore cost-saving measures without compromising on quality. This collaborative approach is aimed at establishing assembly lines that can scale up production during times of conflict, ensuring a steady supply of these advanced munitions.
Investing in the development and production of low-cost loitering munitions is a strategic move by the Indian Army to enhance its combat efficiency and bolster its capabilities in future conflicts. These munitions provide a cost-effective solution for reconnaissance, surveillance, and targeted strikes, significantly augmenting the Army’s overall operational capabilities.
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