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Indian Government Must Fund Indigenous Development Of UAVs By IITs

Indian Government must fund indigenous development of UAVs by IITs. This was recently shared by Lt. General P. Ravi Shankar, Indian Army.

DRDO’s long range multi-mission drone, Rustom-2 has been under development since 2011, even after realizing multiple airframes and Design Validation Flights (DVF) by 2017 itself, there have been delays to meet the User’s requirements. As per CAG report of 2018, the non-availability of critical UAV system has adversely affected the aerial surveillance capability of the Indian Army.

UCAVs are UAVs capable to launch missiles, bombs and precision-guided munition. UCAVs are effectively used world over for Search and Attack role, safeguarding own soldier’s from risks. Its an area that has picked up in the last few years, it is not capital intensive, and it has found extensive usage in military and civil surveillance.

With the usage of UAVs and UCAVs there has been a paradigm shift in the way the modern wars are fought. During the War on Terror, the United States has increasingly utilised drones against the remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces in a number of locations such as Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is particularly the case in areas where American forces could not operate overtly on the ground. Earlier the major investments had been made by the countries in acquiring fighter jets. However with the increase costs in Fighter Jets, every country cannot afford to divert precious foreign exchange reserves in acquiring the Fighter Jets from the other development needs in the country. That puts the countries defence at risk as well.

Recent Armenia-Azerbaijan war brought forward the need for armed drones in winning the wars. Azerbaijan used the Turkish as well as Israeli drones to take out the targets in the conflicted region of Nagorno-Karabakh. Reportedly, the drones used by Baku were Turkish made Bayraktar TB2 and Israeli Harops. Another deadly drone, Israeli Harops, also known as ‘suicide’ or ‘kamikaze’ drones, “proved themselves very effective in the conflict region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Even China that has threatened its neighbors, is the biggest exporter of UAV drones. Pakistan is also getting these drones from China.

However the cheaper alternatives are the drones, the UAVs and the UCAVs. There are different kind of drones.

India is already facing a war like situation with China and Pakistan. Both the countries has working drones.