In Quest For Inducting Cutting-Edge ‘Drones’, Indian Army To Start Testing Loitering Munitions
Indian Army is set to test loitering munitions at Pokhran testing range, as part of a wider push by the Army to operationalise advanced AI-based unmanned technologies in the forces.
If successful, these drones could prove to be a game-changer in India‘s quest for induction of advanced cutting edge technology, reported Business Standard.
The Army will test PALM 400, or “Precision Attack Loitering Munition” in Pokhran over the coming week, the Business Standard report said.
Earlier the PALM-400 loitering munition was tested in Sikkim, where it passed all trials with flying colours, the report adds.
It flew from 18,000 feet, loitered at 19,500 feet, and destroyed a target 8 kilometres away, the report says.
The Loitering munition is manufactured by AVision Systems, a joint venture between Israeli firm UVision Air Ltd and Hyderabad-based Aditya Precitech Private Ltd (APPL).
PALM 400 can loiter over an area for up to 120 minutes flying at a speed of 50-140 knots (90-260 kilometers per hour) at 3,000-4,000 feet above the ground to a maximum range of over 100 km.
It employs state-of-the-art, stabilized, dual electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras to identify and engage targets during the day or night.
PALM-400 also has a mid-air abort capability that allows automatic re-entry into loitering mode, re-engagement, or return to the recovery area using a parachute. It can also operate in Global Positioning System (GPS) denied environments.
The army has earlier released a Global Request-for-Proposals (RFP) to buy more than 2000 drones.
In fact, the Indian Army became the first army in the world that took delivery of a fully operational SWARM drone system on the sidelines of Aero India 2023.
The Business Standard report says that, if the munition clears trials in Pokhran, AVision can get significant orders.
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