By Ajit K Dubey
New Delhi [India], Feb 12 (ANI): In a major boost for Indian Air Force
's unmanned warfare capability, the Defence Ministry has approved 54 Israeli HAROP attack drones which can crash into high-value enemy military targets to destroy them completely.
The Air Force already has an inventory of around 110 of these drones which have now been renamed as P-4. These are equipped with electro-optical sensors to loiter over high-value military targets such as surveillance bases and radar stations before exploding them.
"A proposal to acquire these 54 attack drones was approved by the Defence Ministry at a high-level meeting last week," defence sources told ANI.
The project is likely to strengthen the capability of the Air Force which is going to showcase the capabilities of the missile during the forthcoming Exercise Vayushakti where the loitering UAV would be shown destroying a simulated enemy radar target, IAF officials said.
India is also discussing the Project Cheetah with the Israelis under which almost all the drones of the three services would be turned into high-quality attack drones and their surveillance capabilities would also be enhanced.
The three forces have a fleet of more than 100 of these unmanned aerial vehicles which have been acquired over the years in different batches.
The forces are also working on developing indigenous combat drones which would be deployed on both the China and Pakistan border once the project is complete.
Americans have been using the combat drones to carry out targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan but the relatively slow unmanned vehicles are not known to be very effective in warfare where the opposition also has a strong air force.