Indian defense manufacturer Economics Explosives Ltd has successfully tested three loitering munitions at an altitude exceeding 15,000 feet (4,572 meters).
The Army Design Bureau facilitated the testing at Ladakh’s Nubra Valley last month.
Two of the munitions were fixed wings — the LM0 and the LM1 — while the third was a hexacopter, Economics Explosives Ltd revealed in a statement.
The man-portable fixed-wing munitions flew for 60 minutes carrying four kilograms (8.81 pounds) of warhead, while the hexacopter remained in the air for 30 minutes carrying an equal payload.
The company claimed that this was the first time a man-portable munition had flown at 4,500 meters (1,4764 feet), carrying a payload of four kilograms.
Indigenous Munitions Cheaper Alternative to Armed Drones
According to the company, the LM0 is a hand-launched loitering munition, while the LM1 is launched through a tube or a catapult. These munitions are a cheaper alternative to armed drones and can strike armored vehicles, artillery, bunkers, and command and control stations.
The successful testing of the locally-produced munitions is also significant because the Indian government has put this technology on its “import ban” list to boost indigenous defense production.
According to India Today, the munitions consist of 80 percent of indigenous content and are expected to be 40 percent cheaper than their imported counterparts.