India is preparing for the next war technology by building indigenous capability for unmanned platforms including drones.
Due to the ongoing fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the world has been exposed to the intensive use of high-end naval expertise through the use of armed/unarmed drones. A variety of films have flooded social media showing how synthetic intelligence-based weapon systems are being used and how they will prepare the way forward for the war.
Taking lessons from this, India and China are strengthening their arsenals amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
According to this India Today report, India is gearing up for the following technology of warfare by building indigenous capabilities for unmanned platforms. Hindustan Aeronautics Restricted (HAL) had earlier this year outlined its plans to launch such platforms through its Bengaluru-based Aero India.
India is the third largest naval spender in the world after the US and China.
According to the Hindustan Times, Unmanned Aerial Automobiles (UAVs), or drones, as they are popularly known, represent a place where India lags behind and eventually surpasses international locations such as the United States and Israel. Relies on expensive imports.
Considering experts cited in this report, the standoff was an ‘eye-opener’ for both India and China, with ‘denial of strategic space’ and ‘denial of strategic space’ on this ‘long-neglected border’ and ‘ Boundary Explanation’.
China is one of the largest producers of drones
China also seems to have realized the value drones add to warfare, and is upping its game. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks international weapons flows, China not only built drones for the Individuals Liberation Military but also 163 large weapons-capable ones in 13 international locations from 2008 to 2018. UAVs have been exported. It even supplied 4 Wing Loong II armed drones to Pakistan to guard the China-Pakistan Financial Hall and Gwadar Port.
The need of the hour is for Chinese language officials to deploy “additional good equipment like drones” along the country’s borders, according to the Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Chinese communist celebration. According to the newspaper, the proposal to deploy “additional micro, large drones to its arsenal” came after months of standoff between China and India.
But before we understand where India stands with drones, let’s see what drones are.
What are UAVs or Drones?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have been doing the rounds for about 4 years now. These have been initially developed for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR). Armed with a range of sensors and long-endurance, the UAV delivers real-time intelligence of the battlefield to direct the fire of various weapon methods.
According to this report by Print.in, the US, Israel and China are the most important producers of all types of drones.
China previously relied on imports but has now become the number one producer and seller of those advanced weapons and has both unarmed and armed drones.
So where does India stand?
According to The Wire.in, till date India has been using drones mainly for ISR works. Amidst the current standoff with China, the need of the hour is to strengthen its military with the latest expertise, for which India is already carrying out strikes across the Combat Drone/UCAV spectrum. The Indian Army has about 90 Heron Surveillance Drones and Harop Lottering Munitions. In addition, the army plans to mobilize more people from Israel.
In August 2020, Defense recognized the improvement of the Heron UAV. Sources in the Indian Institute of Security told India Today that some of these drones will be included in this revamp.
Not long ago, the Indian military chief, Normal MM Naravane, spoke in a webinar about how the use of disruptive applied science like drones is the way forward for warfare.
Outlining the recent use of drones by Azerbaijan in Idlib and Armenia, he said offensive expertise challenges the usual prime donas: tanks, artillery and ditched infantry.
Hinting that India is enhancing its drone warfare capabilities, he referred to the Indian Army’s swarm drone offensive display during the Military Day parade earlier this year.
He also acknowledged that India is looking at enhancing its drone capabilities and through the current Aero India show, several indigenous platforms have been showcased.
Hindustan Aeronautics Restricted (HAL) has started work on a formidable mission based on the American mission Skyborg.