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India plans to develop combat UGV based on Arjun tank

India's Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment has proposed the development of a combat UGV based on the Arjun Mk 1A MBT, pictured above test-firing an anti-tank guided missile. (DRDO)

India's state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning to develop a new combat unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) based on India's Arjun Mk 1A main battle tank (MBT).

The DRDO's Technology Focus bulletin for April said a plan to ‚Äúdesign, develop, and validate‚ÄĚ the new tracked combat UGV has been proposed by its Chennai-based Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE), which designed the Arjun MBT in operation with the Indian Army.

The DRDO publication said the proposed combat UGV will be fitted, like the Arjun MBT, with a 120 mm main gun as its primary weapon. It will operate an ‚ÄėIndigenous Geographic Information System' (INDIGIS) that will provide the UGV operator a ‚Äúvisual perspective‚ÄĚ of the platform's location and operational terrain.

The DRDO said it is envisaged that the combat UGV would be operated in the western Rajasthan desert region, which borders Pakistan.

According to the DRDO publication, the INDIGIS system will enable the Indian Army to overcome major challenges in operating the proposed UGV.

These challenges include navigation and route planning over long distances across the Rajasthan desert as well as the provision of a user-interface for the UGV at a remotely placed control station. The latter is required, it said, to provide ‚Äúcontextual information to the operator‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúINDIGIS will be used to generate a feasible route for the vehicle to follow to reach an operator-defined target location in the terrain,‚ÄĚ said the DRDO bulletin.

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