According to media reports, the Indian Air Force is planning to acquire around 15 more HAROP attack drones. The induction of these drones into the Indian Air Force will enhance its unmanned warfare capability. These unmanned drones will provide India’s defense forces with an upper hand in the war as it can crash into strategically important enemy military targets and demolish them.
Further speaking about the acquisitions to ANI, a Defense personal said, “A proposal to acquire these attack drones is expected to be discussed by the Defense Ministry at a high-level meeting in the coming week to strengthen the fleet of such drones in the Air Force”.
The report further stated that the Air Force has created an inventory of these drones. Surveillance drones will also be equipped with optical sensors to stroll over high-value military target such as surveillance bases radar stations, Command Posts (CPs) or Army Aviation Sites (AASs) before destroying them. After the approval of the project, the Indian Air Force would be exercising the option clause in the deal signed a few years ago with Israel. Not to forget that, Israel is the major supplier of drones to the Indian Air Force including the surveillance machines; the Searchers (reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the Heron (medium-altitude long-endurance UAV).
Lately, India is also discussing the Project ‘Cheetah’ with the Israel weapon manufacturing firm Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). The project ‘Cheetah’ is the Government of India’s initiative under which almost all the drones of the three armed forces unit i.e. Air Force, Navy and Army, would be turned into high-quality attack drones and their surveillance capabilities would also be enhanced.
As a matter of fact the three forces have a fleet of more than hundreds of UAVs. All these drones have been acquired from various countries including the USA, Israel and others over the years in different batches. Indian armed forces are also in close contact with indigenous arm manufacturing companies for developing indigenous combat drones. Media reports also suggested that these indigenous drones will be deployed on both the Chinese and the Pakistani border after the completion of the project. Not to forget that many superpowers of the world like the USA have been using combat drones to carry out targeted assassinations of potential terrorist bases in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
Since, coming to power the Modi government has signed many defense deals to strengthen the fleets of the Army, Air Force and Navy. Recently, the Government of India signed a contract with a Swedish arm manufacturing company Saab under in which the Swedish defense major has decided to manufacture as many as 96 of its Gripen medium Multi-Role Combat Aircrafts (MMRCA) out of a total of 114 in India. Saab has sweetened the deal for India to edge out other companies and proposed to manufacture all the aircrafts except the first 18 in India. “Except the first 18 aircrafts, we intend to manufacture everything in India. SAAB will look to build an ecosystem of defence manufacturing inside the country,” Ola Rignell, chairman and managing director, Saab India, said.
The HAROP attack drones deal would prepare India for a two front war with China and Pakistan. This deal will further strengthen the defense capacities of the Indian Armed Forces.