The army, under the emergency procurement powers, has signed a contract to purchase more than 100 explosive-laden drones to be used as ‘force multipliers’ in Balakot-like missions in the future. The drones will have a range of about 100km.
The army’s requirement of “loitering munition” will be fulfilled by ‘SkyStriker’ drones, to be made and supplied by Bengaluru-based Alpha Design, in a joint venture with Israeli’s Elbit Security Systems. The contract signed on Wednesday is worth around Rs 100 crore.
According to Elbit’s website, SkyStriker is a cost-effective loitering munition capable of long-range precise tactical strikes. “The drone improves performance, situational awareness and survivability by providing direct-fire aerial-precision capabilities to manoeuverable troops and special forces,” it says.