Army displays drone swarming prowess
The Indian Army on Friday demonstrated its new drone swarming capability at the Army Day 2021 parade in Delhi Cantt with 75 locally designed and developed drones hovering in the sky and simulating a raft of missions including offensive operations.
“The drones executed an array of artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled simulated offensive missions and close support tasks during the parade,” the army said in a statement.
Drones within a swarm can carry out a wide range of missions including strikes against tanks, infantry combat vehicles, ammunition holding areas, fuel dumps and terror launch pads, officials said.
The army’s drone swarming capability is under development, though it has been tested for HADR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief) roles, which are largely dropping medicines and essential items. The technology is being developed by the army in partnership with a Bengaluru-based start-up NewSpace Research and Technologies.
“This demonstration is a recognition of the Indian Army’s steady embrace of emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from a manpower- intensive to a technology-enabled force to meet future security challenges,” army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said. “In a kamikaze mission, the drones can strike at a range of 100km,” the officials added.
The Army is investing heavily into AI, autonomous weapon systems, quantum technologies and robotics to achieve a convergence between its war-fighting philosophies and military attributes of these technologies, the statement said. “One such project is the AI offensive drone operations... This project symbolises the beginning of the Indian Army’s tryst with autonomy in weapon platforms and showcases the army’s commitment towards merging the cutting-edge of digital technologies with its human resource,” the statement added.
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