Surgical Strike 3.0: Five Aerial Vehicles Which The Indian Armed Forces Can Call up if Needed to Protect The Borders
On February 26, The Indian Air Force dropped multiple 1,000 kg bombs on Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps across the Line of Control (LoC). For this 12 Indian Air Force Mirage-2000 fighter jets, made by Dassault Aviation, the French company who also manufactures the Rafale Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts were used. Reports suggest that during this operation, Netra AEW&C and Heron drones kept an eye on possible retaliation by the Pakistan Air Force jets. Drones are becoming serious business in India, both in the commercial and military spheres These days airstrikeâ€™s on Syria and other IS affected areas are partly done by UAVs, which works as an observer, attacker and even in planning too. Armed drones have given India the option of taking out large terrorist camps or individual targets in hostile territory with minimal risk.
Heron – It is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV, which is used by Indian Air Force. Developed by Israel, it has a flight time of 52 hours, but its actual time of flight depends on weight it carries and flight profile. It has some advanced features like artillery adjustment, surveillance and intelligence tasks.UAV Heron
Harpy – Another product of Israel, it is used by Indian armed forces. It can carry explosive as well as can destroy radar system. It can also carry out actions of suppression of enemy air defence to control and overcome air defence systems, including surface to air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery. It has a maximum speed of 185 km/hr and 500 km range of flight.UAV Harpy
Searcher – Developed by Israel, this UAV can attain a speed of 200km/hour and can fly up to 18 hours. Indian Navy and Air Force are the users in Indian armed forces. It performs the role of reconnaissance in the armed forces. UAV Searcher
Indian Army primarily uses IAI Searcher UAVs as part of the specialized regiments called as Surveillance and Target Acquisition (SATA) Regiments which comes under Regiment of Artillery. These regiments are called as “Alma Mater of Locators” and are the oldest surveillance unit of the Indian Army.
Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system is a multisensor developed by DRDO on a carrier jet which provides an airborne surveillance system in collaboration with CAB (Centre for Airborne Systems) for the Indian Air Force. It is the first native AEW system developed by DRDO and CAB. It was completely developed and built using the native technology platform, EMB-145. Mission system control (MSC) is the brain of the AEW&C system, as it incorporates all the data from sensors and other systems to control the whole system. It assesses threats using data received from the on-board sensors and other sources, and presents the Air Situation Picture (ASP).
Nishant – Made for Indian Army, this UAV was developed by DRDO’s branch, Aeronautical Development Establishment. The Nishant UAV is primarily tasked with intelligence gathering over enemy territory and also for reconnaissance, training, surveillance, target designation, artillery fire correction, damage assessment, ELINT and SIGINT. The UAV has an endurance of four hours and thirty minutes.
It requires a launching system with catapult technology as it doesn’t have self-propelling ability and gets down with the help of a parachute. The Indian army has cancelled further orders of this UAV and decided to retire it
It is an unnamed combat air vehicle, a production of DRDO dedicated to all three services of Indian armed forces. The project is under progress and some top private players in the defence field are bidding for its manufacturing deal. This UAV has come with wheels which makes its take-off and landing a bit ahead of Nishant.
In a decade from now, swarms of unmanned Indian-made drones could enter enemy airspace, fly autonomously to their target and use their advanced artificial intelligence algorithms to seek out and launch coordinated attacks on targets such as the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror training camp in Balakot.
Each swarm could have dozens of individual drones. If detected, some of the drones would be shot down, but the sheer numbers of the swarm would overwhelm enemy defences such as surface-to-air missile units to ensure a high probability of mission success.
The drones are fully networked with each other through electronic data-links. Using their infrared and electro-optical sensors, they detect targets such as surface-to-air missile units, enemy radars and aircraft on the ground. Each drone is designed to be smart enough to ‘learn’ about what it detects before targets are assigned to individual drones,
The swarm drone project becomes particularly relevant “with the projected enhancement of Pakistan’s air defence network, which may include the acquisition of the Chinese HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system.”
The HQ-9 is designed to intercept incoming aircraft after detecting them up to 200 km away. Taking on heavily defended airspace in the near-future “is bound to involve unmanned platforms with stealth features operating in a highly networked environment alongside fewer manned platforms.”
The plan to develop indigenous swarming drones is a part of the Combat Air Teaming System project or CATS, which has three distinct elements. In addition to the ALFA-S swarm drones, a robotic wingman, meant to accompany a manned fighter jet into combat is being also being developed.