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|Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:38 pm Post subject: Army set to junk Nishant UAVs
After crashes, Army set to junk Nishant UAVs
Nov 20, 2015
The Army is set to cancel any further induction of the Nishant surveillance UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) developed by the DRDO after yet another of the drones crashed in the deserts of Rajasthan on Thursday.
With all four Nishant drones supplied to the Army in May 2013 for "user exploitation" having crashed, the last two within a fortnight, the Army has put on hold the Phase-II induction of eight more such drones.
DRDO had launched the Rs 90 crore Nishant UAV project way back in 1995, on which there is now a big question mark, even though it has other drone projects like Rustom. "There are technical problems with the Nishant drones, especially in their take-off and parachute-recovery phases. Their technology is two decades old," said a source.
As reported by TOI earlier, the armed forces have well over 200 drones, with the bulk of them being inducted from Israel since the 1999 Kargil conflict. Apart from the Israeli Searcher-II and Heron drones for long-range surveillance and precision-targeting, the IAF also has the Israeli Harop "killer drones" that detect and then hit specific targets and radars in Kamikaze mode. They also want to induct UCAVs (combat UAVs), which act as fighter jets by firing missiles and then returning to their home bases, in the years ahead.
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