The Indian army plans to deploy these drones for surveillance and detection of enemy movement. The drones would possibly be in two variants: while the loiter time will be the same, the plain variant would have a maximum ceiling of 1,000 meters above take off altitude and the hill variant a maximum elevation of four kms. The Indian Army has asked drone manufacturers to respond by December 23.
“The need for mini UAVs for deployment along the Line of Control (de-facto border between India and Pakistan) has been felt for a long time because of persistent efforts by externally sponsored terrorists to infiltrate across the border,” says Brigadier Rumel Dahiya(retired), defense expert and former deputy director general of Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses.
This year the Indian army has lost 89 men to militant attacks in Kashmir. This week’s terrorist attack on an army camp in J & K, the second on an army base in two months, has exposed the lack of technological tools with the Indian security forces.
“The mini UAVs will be deployed close to the border and will be operated by the troops on ground who will directly receive the information and act upon it thus shortening the Observe, Orient, Decide and Act (OODA) loop and filling up a void in the surveillance grid,” Dahiya added.
A high-level commission set up to investigate the Pathankot airbase camp attack had founded that lack of alertness was responsible for the entry of armed terrorists into high value military facilities. The commission had suggested measures including technology-based security systems in and around military establishments.