Indian Army set to get meaner with acquisition of Ravens and Spike Firefly
New Delhi, July 13: The unmanned aerial vehicle Raven and Spike Firefly are soon likely to be part of the Indian Army's inventory.
The Army is looking to acquire the Raven from the United States and the Spike Firefly from Israel. This comes in the wake of the Indian Air Force set to get the Rafale jets from Paris later this month.
The Indian Navy, on the other hand, is set to commission its second ballistic missile firing nuclear submarine INS Arighat later this year. The RQ-11 UAV can fly up to 10 kilometres at an altitude of 500 feet with a speed of 95 kilometres per hour. This would help the troops on the ground conduct reconnaissance of the battle theatre and also placement of the enemy troops.
The Firefly, on the other hand, can deliver a precision strike on enemy troops hiding within a range of 1 kilometre. It has the capability to locate a target and also be called back if the target has moved beyond ranger. Sources familiar with the development said that the Army would acquire 200 RQ-11 UAVs.
Meanwhile, India is set to get the first batch of four Rafale fighters this month. India has asked France to speed up the delivery of the schedule of 36 Rafale jets under the Rs 59,000 crore deal that was inked in September 2016.
The development comes in the midst of the ongoing standoff with China along the Line of Actual Control. The first batch comprising 4 to 6 jets are likely to touch down in India on July 27.
According to the original delivery schedule the first four Rafales were to reach Ambala y May this year. All the 36 fighter aircraft were scheduled to be delivered by April 2022. The delivery of the first batch got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India has now sought for the delivery given the heightened tensions with China.