Since Narendra Modi came to the power, Indian defence policy is reforming at a fast pace. The latest in the string of strengthening the Indian defence sector is India’s agreement of developing UAV and drones with the United States, which can be launched from an aircraft. DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment, Aerospace Systems Directorate, Indian Airforce and US air force will collaborate for this project. In a statement, the Union ministry of defence said- “The pact outlines the collaboration between Air Force Research Laboratory, Indian Air Force, and Defense Research and Development Organisation towards design, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of systems to co-develop an ALUAV Prototype,”
Earlier, the Project agreement for ALUAV was signed on 30 July under the overall framework of the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
Strategic significance For India
Recently, China and Pakistan have been increasing their presence in the Asian air space. China constantly provides their advanced technological weapons and drones to Pakistan. Emboldened by the Chinese, the Pakistani establishment recently launched a drone attack on the Indian Air Force base in Jammu. Moreover, after the exit from Afghanistan, amid Pakistan’ betrayal, India holds a special promise for the US. As China tries to establish its hegemony in the region, the US needs an ally to counter the Chinese. With India being a fierce competition to China, the USA has decided to increase military cooperation with India. Russia and the USA, both are plotted against China and Russia being India’s biggest arms supplier, the USA is trying to outperform Russia and establish itself as India’s chief ally against China.
Long term investments
The days are over when soldiers used to fight the war with big loads on their backs. The future war will be war between robots operated by technically sophisticated human individuals. This fact was manifested in the recent Azerbaijan and Armenian war, where Drones single-handedly changed the course of the war in favour of Azerbaijan. According to an estimate, about one-fourth of the soldiers will be replaced by robots in less than a decade. Right now, the United States, Russia and Israel are the most technologically sophisticated military establishments. India has excellent relations with all three countries, and with the MAKE-IN-INDIA initiative, the technology transfer will make India manufacture more defence equipments at a reduced cost.
- Recently, the Indian Navy signed a contract with Bharat Electricals Limited(BEL) for India’s first indigenous anti-drone system. An anti-drone system basically can detect and jam an adversary unmanned aerial vehicle. This anti-drone system will keep Indian ships and air spaces secured from enemy drones like Pakistanis and Chinese.
- Earlier, in the light of the attack on Air Force Base in Jammu India had decided to procure the Israeli anti-drone SMASH 2000 Plus systems that may be procured on an immediate basis.
- Recently, India has decided to liberalise its Drone rules and regulations, giving more opportunities for start-ups and unicorns to develop indigenous drones in the wake of the AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT initiative.
While United states college admissions plummeting especially in STEM courses, India is gearing up to become the next military technology hub for the world. The development of air-launched Drones is just a stepping stone in the right direction.