SOURCE: DEEPAK HILORI/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari is not the only one who is skeptical about the usage of armed UAVs in a conflict zone that has an established air defense grid that can provide full spectrum air defense coverage in the region. A recent study on the Ukrainian UAVs and drones initially, success shows that the average flight time of Turkish Bayraktar TB2 in the later part of the war was down to just 6 flights before it could eventually be shot down.
But when it comes to India, we have the right to bet our money on loitering ammunition but we can’t discount combat drones of our enemies, especially considering that Chinese armed UAVs are cheap and are made in factories that have no supply chain issues and can ramp up production overnight in case of war.
Indian scenario reminded me of a quote, attributed to Stalin, that’s stuck with me: “Quantity has a Quality of its own”. Chinese armed drones might find it difficult to break the security grid of the Indian air defense system in the first phase of the war but with numerical superiority, and with ability to quickly replace lost ones, they will keep trying till it completely overwhelms Indian Air defense systems that India will not be able to produce surface to air missiles and its support systems to replace one that is lost in the battlefield at space pace.
China and Pakistan both are relying on Armed UAVs to overwhelm Indian air defense systems in many sectors and to also find locations of the mobile air defense systems. India needs to invest more in its air defense systems and also expand the scale of its production so that it can be produced at faster rates in event of a war. Unlike Ukraine which received weapons from aboard and continues to receive them, India might not have the same luxury in the middle of a war so it should work on multiple public-private sector collaborations to make sure that its air defense grid is not only formidable but also can last for months in case of a prolonged war.
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