New Delhi: The Army Friday showcased for the first time swarm drones offensive capability by carrying out a simulated Kamikaze attack on targets, including enemy tanks, fuel depots, terror hideout and radar positions, among others, at the Army Day Parade held in Delhi cantonment.
While what the Army showcased was a swarm of 75 drones, including mother UAVs that release smaller systems, it aims to increase the capability to 1,000 such systems in the coming months.
The Army termed the system a disruption technology, which can hit targets 50 km inside enemy territory.
The quadcopter drones of multiple payload capacity were also shown delivering medical aids and para-dropping essential supplies to showcase that the system can be used for support to troops deployed in harsh and forward positions.
The Army announced that a total of 600 kg supplies can be delivered by these drones.
Sources in the Army said the system has been developed in collaboration with a Bengaluru startup, NewSpace Research and Technologies.
“We started in August with five systems, which was scaled up to 20 in October, 30 in December and now 75,” a source said, adding that the effort is to scale up even further.
Defence industry sources, however, said that the presentation did not involve swarm drone demonstration, but just a drone formation as swarm drones have a centralised launch operation and have the capability to acquire targets.
Army sources said that these drones are based on multiple algorithms and Artificial Intelligence.
Betting big on drones
The armed forces are betting big on the drone capabilities as the recent Armenia-Azerbaijan clash showed how traditional war fighting machines can fall prey to armed and Kamikaze drones.
The Navy has recently taken on lease two American drones, while the Army has just placed a nearly Rs 140-crore deal with an Indian firm for specialised high-altitude tactical drones for operations in Ladakh.
India is also set to sign a deal with Israel for the upgrade of the Heron drones, which will include arming some of them.