For The Himalayas, The Indian Army Wants Drones

The Ministry of Defence plans to buy miniature surveillance drones, sometimes known as quad copters, for the Indian Army to keep an eye on the border with Pakistan and China.

It seeks two versions, one for deployment above 4,000 metres (13,100 feet) and the other for deployment below 4,000 metres.

On Thursday, Indian suppliers received a formal request for information (RFI), which is the first step in the tendering process.

The Army is looking for a drone that weighs less than 10 kg. It should have a video camera and a night sensor, and be able to fly within a 5 km range. These are known as tactical drones in the military, and they deliver real-time photos and videos to forward-deployed troops and commanders.

The drones’ weight should be such that they can withstand strong high-altitude winds of up to 20 knots (37 kmph), and they should be able to launch at 5,500 metres (18,000 feet) and fly at least 500 metres above ground.

Most summits in Ladakh’s Siachen sector and sub-sector north, as well as certain peaks in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh, are higher than 18,000 feet.

Both drone variants must be able to take off and land in an unprepared region. The following step, the request for proposal, is expected to be issued in November 2022.

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