Indian Army Gets Indigenous Suicide Drones For Enhanced Border Defence: Key Features Of Nagastra-1 Explained


(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In a major boost to India's defence capabilities, the Indian Army
recently received its first batch of indigenous man-portable suicide drones, known as Nagastra-1, as reported by The Economic Times (ET). These drones are specifically crafted to precisely target enemy training camps, launch pads, and infiltrators, thereby reducing risks faced by soldiers.

Engineered entirely within India by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), a subsidiary of Solar Industries, the drones boast a native component exceeding 75 percent. This advancement significantly bolsters the army's ability to conduct swift strikes near the border when needed.

Nagastra-1 represents a state-of-the-art unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), specialized as a loitering munition equipped with advanced functionalities like abort, recover, and reuse capabilities. These drones were swiftly acquired by the army under emergency procurement powers and delivered within a year to meet urgent requirements along the borders with Pakistan and China. Moreover, they are designed to operate effectively in high-altitude regions under extreme temperature conditions.

Capable of targeting various soft-skin threats, Nagastra-1 offers a cost-efficient alternative to conventional missiles and precision munitions. They are particularly effective against lower-priority targets such as groups of infiltrating terrorists near the border. Notably, the drones feature a parachute recovery system, enabling retrieval and reuse in case of mission cancellation.

Such systems have seen widespread use in contemporary conflicts, including the Ukraine-Russia war and the Armenia-Azerbaijan skirmishes. In earlier emergency acquisitions, the armed forces had relied on similar systems procured from foreign suppliers, albeit at significantly higher costs.

Key features of Nagastra-1 drone

Precision and lethality:
The Nagastra-1 drones are engineered as state-of-the-art loitering munitions, equipped with GPS-enabled precision targeting capabilities that boast an impressive accuracy of 2 meters. This precision allows for the exact neutralization of hostile threats, including enemy training camps, launch pads, and infiltrators operating near India's borders with Pakistan and China.

Operational versatility:
Designed to operate effectively in high-altitude regions and extreme temperatures, these fixed-wing electric UAVs offer a substantial operational endurance of 60 minutes. They feature a dual-mode operational capability with a man-in-loop range extending up to 15 km and autonomous operation up to 30 km. This flexibility ensures adaptability to various combat scenarios, providing commanders with enhanced tactical options.

Warhead capability:
Equipped to carry a 1 kg warhead over distances of up to 15 km, with an upgraded version supporting a 2.2 kg warhead capable of reaching distances up to 30 km, the Nagastra-1 drones deliver lethal force against soft-skin threats effectively and economically. This capability is particularly crucial for targeting lower-priority threats such as groups of infiltrating terrorists, thereby bolstering national security efforts without the expense of conventional precision munitions.

Recovery and reuse:
A standout feature of the Nagastra-1 drone is its parachute recovery system, enabling retrieval and potential reuse in scenarios where targets are not detected or missions are aborted. This capability not only enhances cost-efficiency but also underscores sustainability in defence operations, aligning with modern military doctrines focused on minimizing environmental impact and maximizing resource utilization.

Global context and future prospects

The deployment of Nagastra-1 places India alongside technologically advanced nations in the field of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), marking a significant milestone in indigenous defence manufacturing capabilities. With applications witnessed in contemporary conflicts worldwide, including in Ukraine and Armenia, the Nagastra-1 drones represent a cost-effective and efficient solution tailored to meet India's specific security challenges.

The introduction of Nagastra-1 drones by the Indian Army heralds a new era in indigenous defence innovation, setting a benchmark for precision, versatility, and operational effectiveness in unmanned aerial systems. As these drones continue to evolve and integrate into strategic defence planning, they are poised to play a pivotal role in safeguarding India's borders and enhancing its defensive capabilities against evolving security threats.

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