During the 2019 electoral campaign, PM Narendra Modi explained in a televised interview how India outsmarted Pakistan’s armed forces to conduct the airstrike deep inside Pakistan. In fact, after carrying out a dastardly terror attack in Pulwama, Pakistan was up in arms and anticipated a swift but resolute military response from the Indian side.
PM Modi explained that Pakistan had anticipated a territorial response along the lines of a surgical strike. It even bought its entire border brigade on LOC. But being a devout Bajrang Bali bhakt, India conducted an airstrike to hold Pakistan accountable for its terror attacks.
Having said that, we all know that even after getting a military thrashing, Pakistan will not stop using its military Jihad complex against India. This disgusting, undeterred stance of Pakistan necessitates India to keep evolving ways to punish the jihad industry of the terror nation.
With modern warfare changing at an unimaginable pace, the Indian armed forces lacked the crucial weaponry of modern warfare. Yes, we are talking about armed drones. By now, everyone has witnessed the havoc armed drones can cause in enemy territory. The most glaring episode of it was seen in the Nagorno-Karabakh military conflict, where Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drones changed the fate of the war.
Now, reports suggest that the Indian armed forces will soon have this deadly weapon.
PALM-400 Drones to Bolster India’s Defence in Mountain and Desert Terrain
The Indian Armed Forces are all set to receive new lethal weaponry in the form of Precision Attack Loitering Munition (PALM-400) drones. It recently tested a prototype version of the PALM-400 drone successfully. With this launch, the long wait for the Indian armed forces is over now. The forces were in search of a military-grade armed remotely piloted vehicle (RPV).
Consequently, the thermobaric warhead was launched from an Indian-made canister. The test launch was carried out in Sikkim. The PALM-400 RPV was launched from 18,000 feet, and then it hovered at 19,500 feet. Notably, the combat RPVs have to pass rigorous tests for navigational accuracy, motion control, motor control, and signal integrity before getting approval and induction.
The PALM 400 is jointly developed by AVision Systems (Israel), UVision Air Ltd., and Aditya Precitech Private Ltd. Earlier, the Indian forces had issued a Request for Proposals (RFP). Later, the contract was given to the Israeli defence company in an open tender.
What are the specifications of this deadly weapon?
The PALM-400 drones were launched at a height of 18,000 feet, hovered at 19,500 feet, and then fired a thermobaric bomb at an 8-kilometre target. These drones can launch from a canister and fly at a speed of 50 to 140 knots (90 to 260 km/h) for up to 120 minutes over a kill zone.
Advanced sensors on PALM-400 drones enable them to launch precise attacks against both fixed and moving targets. The drones can deliver map data to airstrikes and combat planners with a firing range of more than 100 kilometers.
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The twin electro-optical and infrared cameras on the PALM-400 drones offer superb images in all lighting circumstances. They are designed with the most advanced technology. In addition, they have the potential to offer logistical assistance as well as ISTAR capabilities, which stand for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance.
These armed drones can operate in any environment and condition, as they have complex navigational systems. It enables these drones to operate even when GPS is disabled. They come with specially designed warheads that can attack a variety of targets.
The mid-air abort feature of the PALM-400 drone enables it to automatically re-enter loitering mode, re-engage a target, and then return to the recovery point using a parachute.
It has exceptional maneuverability and can loiter over a target in stealth mode, collect information, and then strike at time-sensitive threats.
Additionally, this will give India a significant advantage over our neighbour, particularly in mountainous regions and the Thar desert in Rajasthan.
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How will PALM-400 change the equation and instil fear in Pakistan?
During the Kargil War, Indian armed forces exercised restraint and decided not to punish Pakistan by crossing the border. However, this self-absorbed restraint was dumped into a trash can, and the Indian Air Force hit terror camps deep inside Pakistani territory.
In a similar TV interview in 2019, PM Modi acknowledged the fact that had India had the ability of aircraft like Rafale, the strike could have been carried out even deeper and wiped out the Jihad industry once and for all.
However, to strike deep into the enemy territory, the forces needed precise long-range weapons and aircraft, but even Pakistan’s notorious intelligence agency had been deliberately using the Af-Pak border for “strategic depth” and evading Indian Air Force striking capability.
The air strike breached the self-imposed mental barrier of not violating Pakistan’s airspace for carrying out justice. Now, the template response is clear: Pakistan’s terrorist acts or attempts will get an amplified military response from India. For that reason, India has successfully advanced its military capabilities. Hopefully, better sense prevails and such deterrent moves by India keep Pakistan’s Jihad industry in check and, by dropping the ideology of hatred, it starts behaving as a responsible nation. Otherwise, it will keep getting a compound offensive response from the Indian side, which has all the possibility of culminating in the elimination of military real estate from the globe.