INDIA TO BUILD NANO UAVS
By Bulbul Singh
In July India began developing nano UAVs. The DRDO has cleared the design and development of a nano UAV project as a secret project.
“The nano UAV has been the requirement of India’s intelligence Agencies’ fighting terrorism in urban centres. India will make nano UAVs the size of grasshoppers which will also be very Light.” said DRDO sources.
Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Established [ADE] a DRDO laboratory has been designated as nodal agency for development of nano UAVs.
The UAVs will be undetectable in tropical climate and can be used by the Indian Army to gather intelligence in close range, especially in Northern Jammu and Kashmir where Indian forces have been fighting terrorists for over two decades.
DRDO will seek international collaboration at a later stage. The Nano UAVs will have a range of 1000 meters will be about 8 centimetres in length and be capable to carry payload which will include nano cameras, sensors and navigation systems.
In addition, India is planning to develop a variety of UAVs with overseas defence companies as partners. Currently, India uses only varieties of Israeli UAVs which include Searcher I, Searcher-II and Heron UAVs.
The Indian Air Force is also purchasing combat UAVs which will enhance its capability for special strike missions behind enemy lines. This special role was highlighted by military planners in the aftermath of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks when it was contemplated to strike terrorist camps operating inside Pakistan.
“In the absence of advanced surveillance systems, the UAVs are of great use for the forces.” said a senior Indian Army official. Purchase of rotary wing UAVs is another priority of the Indian forces. The Indian Navy plans to buy around 12 rotary winged UAVs whose main features will include Over the Horizon Targeting and Real Time Battle capability.
DRDO is also looking for international partners to collaborate in the joint development of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAVs, which will be developed by the DRDO. These MALE UAVs will fly at tens of thousands of feet, watching a target for more than 24 hours continuously.