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India kick starts Program to build armed Drone Swarms indigenously


India kick starts Program to build armed Drone Swarms indigenously
An Indian Army drone swarm demonstration



India has kicked off an indigenous program to acquire Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms for the Army under the Buy (Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) category.

This program was accorded Stage-1 approval – or Acceptance of Necessity (AON) – by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), which on July 26 approved initiation of a host of military procurement programs worth Rs 28,732 Crore ($3.6 Billion).

“In the recent conflicts across the world, drone technology proved to be a force multiplier in military operations. Accordingly, to augment the Indian Army’s capability in modern warfare, AoN for procurement of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms has been accorded by the DAC under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category,” a Ministry of Defence spokesperson stated in a press release.

DAC approvals include procurement of Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition, Area Denial Munition Type I and Infantry Combat Vehicle – Command for the Army. These systems have been designed and developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). The total value of these three proposals is Rs 8,599 crore.

“Guided Extended Range Rocket Ammunition has the range of 75 kms with accuracy of 40 metres. The Aerial Denial Munition Type I Rocket Ammunition contains dual purpose sub-munitions capable of neutralizing both tanks and armoured personnel carriers as well as B vehicle entrenched troops. The Infantry Combat Vehicle – Command is equipped with technology to collect, disseminate, share and present real time information to commanders to facilitate quick decision making for execution of tasks,” according to the official statement

AON was accorded for 400,000 Close-Quarter Battle Carbines, upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generators for power generation application onboard Kolkata class warships, 14 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard and an unspecified number of Bullet Proof Jackets built to Indian specifications.

All approvals are under the Make in India categories of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020.

“In the recent conflicts across the world, drone technology proved to be a force multiplier in military operations. Accordingly, to augment the Indian Army’s capability in modern warfare, AoN for procurement of Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarms has been accorded by the DAC under Buy (Indian-IDDM) category,” a Ministry of Defence spokesperson stated in a press release.

“DAC also approved the Navy’s proposal to procure an upgraded 1250KW capacity Marine Gas Turbine Generator for power generation application onboard Kolkata class of ships through Indian Industry. This will give a major boost to the indigenous manufacturing of gas turbine generators,” the statement added.

“In order to enhance the security in the coastal region of our Country, DAC also approved the proposal of procurement of 14 Fast Patrol Vessels (FPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard under the Buy (Indian-IDDM) with 60 per cent Indigenous Content (IC),” it further elaborated.

“Considering the demand of enhanced protection against the threat of enemy snipers to our troops deployed along the Line of Control, and in close combat operations in counter-terrorism scenario, DAC accorded AoN for Bullet Proof Jackets with Indian Standard BIS VI level of protection,” the spokesperson stated.

The AoN for induction of approximately 400,000 Close-Quarter Battle Carbines was explained in terms of the need “to combat the current complex paradigm of conventional and hybrid warfare and counter-terrorism at the LAC and Eastern Borders”.

The spokesperson stated that this would provide an impetus to the small arms manufacturing industry in India and contribute to Atmanirbharta (self-reliance) in small arms.

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