Indian Army inducted Swarm drones into the Mechanised Forces, will play critical role against Chinese aggression

Indian Army induct Swarm Drones into the Mechanised Forces, duly embracing the niche & disruptive technologies, will provide an edge to the Indian Army in meeting future security challenges.

Indian Army’s mechanised forces are inducted swarm drone systems capable of carrying out offensive missions in enemy territory with scores of drones working in formations to identify, encircle and strike targets even as a proposal to develop light tanks for rapid deployment and high mobility in mountains to counter Chinese capabilities is set to come up for defence ministry approval, officials familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The Indian Army has deployed `Swarm Drones’ along the borders with Pakistan and China to protect the sovereignty of the nation.  These drones will help the Indian Army to gather intelligence which helps the troops on the ground to thwart potential dangers.

Drone swarms will be a force multiplier for commanders as the systems will enable better surveillance, support close reconnaissance of areas of interest and, if required, engage a raft of targets, including the enemy artillery, air defence equipment, command and control centres, tanks, infantry combat vehicles, and ammunition and fuel dumps, said one of the officials cited above, on the condition of anonymity.

“A group of drones operating in tandem with the ground manoeuvre- forces will provide a significant capability for offensive and defensive operations and sharpen the army’s combat potential,” he said.

The swarm drone systems have been developed and supplied by two Indian start-ups to meet a key military requirement, HT has learnt. The induction of drone swarm capability reflects the army’s sharpened focus on emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from being manpower intensive to a technology enabled force said a second official, who did not wish to be named.

Artificial intelligence-based algorithms enable the drones to distribute the tasks within the swarm, smoothly navigate to the target area, carry out a search, identify and strike the targets or transmit the inputs to the control station for engagement by the weapon of choice, the second official said. The light tank is another key capability enhancement that the army is pursuing, given that increased threat persists along India’s northern borders with China, and it will soon seek the government’s approval for the indigenous development of the tank, said a third official.

The future tank has already been named Zorawar after 19th century Dogra dynasty king Gulab Singh’s legendary general, Zorawar Singh.

The army will seek the defence acquisition council’s acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the light tank project in September, having finalised the qualitative requirements for the new 25-tonne platform that has been deemed an operational requirement, the third official said. The council, chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh, is India’s apex weapons procurement body, and under India’s defence procurement rules, its AoN is the first step towards buying or developing military hardware.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has inducted and fielded several modern tanks including light tanks with high power-to-weight ratio, across the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), said the fourth official, adding that the Indian Army had deployed scores of Russian-origin T-72 and T-90 tanks in the Ladakh theatre “to gain tactical surprise over the adversary and force him on the back foot.

“However, these tanks (T-72s power intensive to a t and T-90s) were primarily designed for operations in plains and deserts and have limitations in high altitudes. They face a similar handicap when employed in the marginal terrain of Rann of Kutch. The light tank is an operational necessity,” he said.

The army expects the light tank prototype development and trials in three years.

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