Army Receives First Batch Of 'Made in India' Nagastra-1 Loitering Munitions

Swarajya Staff

Jun 14, 2024, 02:28 PM | Updated 04:48 PM IST

Nagastra-1 Loitering Munition. (Via Vayu Aerospace)
Nagastra-1 Loitering Munition. (Via Vayu Aerospace)

Indian Army has received its first batch of 'Made in India' Nagastra-1 loitering munitions from Nagpur-based Solar Industries.

Solar Industries is the parent company of Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) — the primary designer of the Nagastra-1 loitering munition. EEL says that the munition has an Indigenous content of 75 per cent.

It was ordered by the army in April 2023 through a competitive process, outperforming various world-class offerings from Israel and Poland under the emergency procurement route and was delivered in under a year.

Nagastra-1 also displayed its capabilities in November last year during a live demonstration at the Infantry Commanders' Conference where the munition precisely destroyed its target.

In the demonstration, it was launched in a pre-determined trajectory, following which it went into kamikaze mode and hit the target with pinpoint accuracy.

Nagastra-1 has a maximum strike range of 15 km and can carry a payload of 1 kg. It can loiter over a target for a maximum of 60 minutes and has an accuracy of less than 2 metres.

The fixed-wing electric-powered UAV uses GPS for precision strikes and is capable of destroying various soft-skinned targets using its pre-fragmented high explosive warhead. The munition also carries a day-and-night camera for surveillance as well.

The Nagastra-1, in its kamikaze mode, can search and destroy any target by crashing into it. If the target is not found or the mission is aborted, the munition can be called back and recovered using a parachute.

EEL is also working on another loitering munition, Nagastra-2, which has a range of more than 25 km and an endurance of 90 minutes.

Loitering munitions have turned out to be a very important part of modern warfare, as demonstrated in both the Russia-Ukraine and Armenia-Azerbaijan wars, where the drones have shown their ability to hit dismounted soldiers, thin-skinned vehicles, and even surface-to-air missile launchers and radars.

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