17:44 GMT03 April 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Unmanned aerial vehicles are being increasingly used for a variety of purposes, for security reconnaissance to farm operations and even to provide relief to natural calamity-hit areas. The Indian Air Force, which is often pressed into relief operations, has been weighing its options amid various manufacturers of UAVs.

    Three drones owned by a private company have gone missing at Pokhran Firing Range in Rajasthan, a state in western India. These drones were being tested by the Indian Air Force for their effectiveness when they disappeared. 

    One of the three drones was found during  a search operation by Rajasthan Police and the Indian Air Force; however, the other two remain missing.

    Sources said the three drones were from the same manufacturer; they went missing and crashed during the trial due to a technical snag.

    The Indian Air Force was in the process of procuring drones from private manufacturers for deployment during natural calamities like floods or earthquakes.

    A Police official said the Indian Air Force reported the matter of the missing drones to them and now they have launched a search operation. They have also requested villagers to inform them if they find any debris of drone in their fields.

    Pokhran, in northwestern Rajasthan's Jaisalmer district, served as the test site for India's first underground nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. 

    By 2019, the IAF wanted to acquire armed drones with the capability of carrying missiles and was using an armed version of the Israeli “heron” for surveillance.  

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    Tags:
    Indian Air Force (IAF), drones, unmanned aerial vehicle, firing range, Rajasthan, India
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