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The Indian Navy is gearing up to bolster its maritime capabilities with cutting-edge technology by planning to equip its upcoming Next Generation Missile Vessels (NGMV) with long-range loitering munition. To enhance the operational capabilities of the NGMVs, the Indian Navy is in talks with Indian private sector companies that have already developed loitering munition for the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

The incorporation of loitering munition on the NGMVs will provide the Navy with selective actionable response capabilities, allowing them to conduct precise and effective operations in critical maritime scenarios.

Loitering munition, also known as suicide drones, is a sophisticated type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for extended flight times and the capability to loiter over a target area for a significant period. Unlike conventional drones, loitering munition is not simply used for reconnaissance purposes; instead, it is equipped with a warhead to carry out precise strikes on enemy targets. These munitions provide the Indian Navy with a tactical advantage, enabling them to gather real-time intelligence, assess the situation at the target, and make informed decisions before engaging in an attack.

One of the key advantages of loitering munition is its ability to be launched from confined pods, providing flexibility and ease of deployment on naval vessels. The Indian Navy aims to utilize this capability to enhance its offensive and defensive capabilities during maritime operations. The incorporation of loitering munition on the NGMVs will empower the Navy to conduct precision strikes on enemy warships, merchant vessels, and land targets, thereby strengthening its maritime dominance.

Furthermore, loitering munition offers a unique capability of aborting an attack if conditions demand such action. This feature provides the Indian Navy with enhanced control and reduces the risk of collateral damage during sensitive operations. The ability to abort an attack if required showcases India’s commitment to responsible and precise military engagements.

The contract for the acquisition of six NGMVs was signed earlier this year with Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) for Rs 9,805 crore. The NGMVs are designed to be heavily armed war vessels, incorporating state-of-the-art stealth technology, high-speed capabilities, and formidable offensive capabilities. With the incorporation of long-range loitering munition, the NGMVs will become even more potent and versatile, further strengthening India’s maritime defence.

The NGMVs will serve as a critical asset for the Indian Navy, with their primary role being offensive capability against enemy warships, merchant vessels, and land targets. These advanced war vessels will be capable of conducting Maritime Strike Operations and Anti-Surface Warfare Operations, making them a formidable force in the region.

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