Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Indian Army Inducts Indigenous Swarm Drone Systems

By Staff Correspondent

Drone technology has proved to be a Force Multiplier in military operations as evident from its application in various recent conflicts across the world. Even in our context, the recent incidents along the borders have seen a noticeable increase in drone-related incidents along our Borders.

The application of swarm drones in various recent conflicts across the world especially in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Syria and the strike on oilfields in Saudi Arabia and the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict clearly highlighted the potency of this niche technology. A group of drones operating in conjunction with the ground manoeuvre forces will provide an aerial manoeuvre capability during both offensive and defensive operations, thereby enhancing the combat potential of the ground forces.

“We need Swarm Drones for providing tactical commanders with a Force Multiplier capable of providing surveillance inputs, undertaking close recce of a particular area to confirm inputs received from other ISR resources, engaging varied targets like A vehicles, B vehicles, artillery and Air Defence equipment, enemy command and control centres and opportunities,” a source knowledgable about the development told IA&D, “It can be employed in both offensive and defensive operations, providing a decisive edge to the tactical commanders employing them,” the source added.

Swarm Drone System consists of a number of aerial vehicles which are Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled and capable of communicating with the control station as well as among themselves. AI based Swarming algorithms enable the swarm drones to automatically distribute the tasks among themselves, navigate to the area of interest, ensure collision avoidance during movement to the target area and carryout search of the area.

AI-based Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) feature enables the drones to automatically recognise targets line tanks gun gum, vehicles and humans and display them on the control station screen thus minimising the chances of the operator missing any target and also facilitating engagement by suitable type of weapon platform.

To induct this Niche Technology, the Indian Army has procured Swarm Drones from two Indian startup companies. In addition, the Indian Army has also initiated a Make-II case, Autonomous Surveillance and Armed Drone Swarm (A-SADS) which includes a number of improvements and also a version for High Altitude Areas. “This procurement is a recognition of the Indian Army’s embrace of emerging and disruptive technologies to transform itself from a manpower-intensive to a technology-enabled force to meet future security challenges,” said another official who did not wish to be named.


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