Indian Army orders locally produced loitering munitions

by Rahul Bedi

The Indian Army (IA) has signed two contracts worth a combined INR2 billion (USD27.4 million) to acquire a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions to meet urgent operational requirements.

The first contract, worth INR1 billion, was awarded on 31 August to a joint venture (JV) between local company Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) and Israel's Elbit Systems for the supply of 100 SkyStriker light munition systems.

Elbit Systems' SkyStriker is a precision-guided loitering munition designed to seek, locate, and acquire operator-marked targets and targets of opportunity in tactical-level engagements.

The IA has ordered a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions, including100 SkyStrikers (similar to this one), to meet urgent operational requirements. (Elbit Systems)

The IA has ordered a total of 200 locally produced loitering munitions, including100 SkyStrikers (similar to this one), to meet urgent operational requirements. (Elbit Systems)

According to the company, the SkyStriker can cover a distance of 20 km within 10 minutes. Upon reaching the target area, it can loiter and pursue the target for up to 2 hours when fitted with a 5 km warhead and for up to one hour with a 10 kg warhead.

The system uses autonomous navigation for its cruising and loitering phases. When preparing to strike, it applies its electro-optical ‘lock' on the target. The munition can be deployed as a standalone system or as part of a ‘drone swarm'. The SkyStriker's operator can also initiate a ‘strike abort' function up to two seconds before impact, re-engage or, if target engagement is not authorised, direct the loitering munition to safe recovery. The munition is retrieved via a parachute/airbed function.

The second contract, also worth INR1 billion, was awarded to Bangalore-based NewSpace Research and Technologies on 3 September for 100 locally developed ‘swarm drone units' capable of also seeking, tracking, and striking enemy targets with a 5 kg or 10 kg warhead in tactical-level engagements.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/indian-army-orders-locally-produced-loitering-munitions

The Indian Army (IA) has signed two contracts worth a combined INR2 billion (USD27.4 million) to acq...

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