- The Army also wants to buy 12 sets of autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarms (A-SADS).
- Seven of these sets are for high-altitude areas near the border with China, while the other five are for deserts and plains near the border with Pakistan.
The Indian Army wants to use technology more than ever. The 12-lakh force has now put out preliminary bids to buy 48 jetpack suits that will let soldiers “fly” at speeds of more than 50 km per hour, 100 robotic mules, and 130 new-generation “tethered” drone systems using emergency fast-track procedures.
In the request for proposals (RFP) for the jetpacks, the Army said that suits with a modern propulsion system should have controls for safe ascent, descent, takeoff, and landing in all directions.
The robot mules with four legs should be able to work at heights of up to 10,000 feet. They should be able to move on their own across different types of terrain and be able to fix themselves and avoid obstacles.
The tethered systems should be made up of drones that are connected to a station on the ground and can keep an eye on targets that are out of sight for a long time.
In the last few months, the Army has started several projects to buy different kinds of drones. They did this by learning from recent conflicts like the one between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the one between Russia and Ukraine. This is happening while the military conflict with China in eastern Ladakh is still going on.
There are kamikaze drones, armed drone swarms, logistics drones, quadcopters for infantry battalions to use for surveillance, and other things like that.
For artillery regiments, for example, the Army plans to buy 80 mini remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), 10 RPAS that don’t need a runway, 44 upgraded long-range surveillance systems, and 106 inertial navigation systems made in India. This will help the Army better direct long-range and high-volume firepower at enemy targets.
The Army also wants to buy 12 sets of autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarms (A-SADS). Each set will have 50–75 aerial vehicles with artificial intelligence that can talk to control stations and to each other.
Seven of these sets are for high-altitude areas near the border with China, while the other five are for deserts and plains near the border with Pakistan.