The Indian Air Force (IAF) has decided to procure 100 small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for the surveillance of air force bases across the country, News18 reported, citing sources.
The intended purchase is intended to bolster the country’s air base defenses in the wake of a drone attack at an IAF base in Jammu last year. The base is only 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) from the border with Pakistan.
The service is looking to buy a high-altitude system equipped with electro-optic and thermal imaging to detect land and aerial targets from long distances. The IAF wants the drone to provide security from both enemy drones and terrorists, the outlet noted.
Other Drone Purchases
The IAF has already ordered the purchase of indigenous counter-drone systems for 1.5 billion Indian rupees ($19.5 million) for the base security upgrade. The mini UAVs would also be purchased from a domestic firm, the outlet added.
The Indian Army has also ordered a “large” number of drones from domestic manufacturers following the incident, including “swarm drones, logistics drones as well as explosives-carrying loitering munitions that can detect a target and explode there.”
The country also plans to upgrade available drones with sensors and satellite communication equipment to enhance their surveillance and reconnaissance capacity.
Plans are also afoot to integrate air-to-ground missiles and laser-guided munitions with certain UAVs.