HomeAatmanirbhar BharatArmy gets its first indigenous man-portable suicide drones

Army gets its first indigenous man-portable suicide drones

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New Delhi: The army has got its first indigenous man-portable suicide drones that are designed to target enemy training camps, launch pads and infiltrators with precision, without endangering the lives of soldiers.

Sources said the first batch of Nagastra 1 loitering munition, also known as suicide drones, has been received by the army, adding to its ability to undertake shallow strikes across the border when needed.

The drones were ordered by the army using its emergency procurement powers and were delivered within a year to meet urgent requirements both on the Pakistan and China borders. The drones can also operate from high altitude areas at extreme temperatures.

Designed and developed fully in India by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), the drones can carry out GPS-enabled precision strikes with an accuracy of 2 meters and have a range of almost 30 km. Designed to be carried by infantry troops on foot, the drones have a low acoustic signature and electric propulsion that makes them a silent killer.

They can be used against a variety of soft skin targets and unlike traditional missiles and precision munitions, these are a low-cost solution that can be employed against relatively lower end targets like a group of infiltrating terrorists on the border. Another unique feature is a parachute recovery mechanism, which can bring back the munition in case of an aborted mission, enabling it to be used multiple times.

Similar systems are being used extensively in current conflicts, specially the Ukraine-Russia war and were also seen in action in the Armenia-Azerbaijan skirmishes. In the past, the armed forces had acquired similar systems from foreign vendors under an earlier round of emergency procurements but at a significantly higher price.The Nagastra 1 has indigenous content of over 75%, cutting down dependence on foreign sources. Given the scale of production that has brought down costs, there is a strong case for exports of the munition to friendly foreign nations that have been looking for similar solutions.

The Indian armed forces have been investing in standoff weapons over the past two years, some of which can operate deeper into enemy territory. The focus is firmly on procuring all such systems from the domestic industry and shunning all imports.

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