The Indian Army is likely to procure this weapon system, among others, using the special economic powers granted to the Armed Forces.
Known in the Israeli Defence Forces as ‘Maoz’, FIREFLY has been designed for use by infantry and special forces.
It comes in a canister-deployed design and has multiple rotors which enables it to hover over structures.
Weighing 3 kg, FIREFLY has a compact and rugged airframe, and its twin-rotor blades retract and fold along the body when not in use, forming a damage resistant package which fits into a canister and can be easily carried by troops in battlefield.
It has been described as a light, small, and agile unmanned system for tactical use, and can be deployed within seconds in the battlefield.
Controlled from a tablet-based console, this weapon system allows infantry units to target structures such as buildings and camps, with precision.
And it can return to the operator with a click of a button if it remains unused at the end of the operation.
Given that it comes with a bidirectional data link, which allows two-way data transmission and electro optical seekers, FIREFLY can be used for target — both moving and stationary — with or without line-of-sight to operator.
It can be used both at day and night, has a stand-off range of 500 metres in urban areas and 1,000 meters in open areas, and can withstand wind speeds of up to 10 metres per second, allowing it to remain stable in windy environments.
This weapon system can be used to target enemies that may be beyond line of sight or hiding in urban areas, an environment that Indian Army units engaged in counter-insurgency operations in the Kashmir Valley often face.
“FIREFLY will essentially eliminate the value of cover and with it, the necessity of long-drawn-out firefights. It will also make obsolete the old infantry tactic of firing and maneuvering to eliminate an enemy hiding behind cover,” Rafael’s literature on FIREFLY, available on its website, reads.
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