Indian Army to procure over 100 ‘SkyStriker’ drones from Bengaluru for Balakot-type missions

The SkyStrikers will be capable of mass destruction, carrying ammunition, and conduct strikes at far-off targets. It will be a sort of an invisible, silent, and surprise attacker.

The Indian army, under emergency procurement powers has signed a contract for more than 100 explosive-laden drones — to be manufactured in Bengaluru by a company named Alpha Design-led joint venture (JV) involving Israeli firm Elbit Security Sysy Systems (ELSEC) — that are to be used as force multipliers in Balakot type of missions. It will have a range of about 100km.

The contract worth Rs. 100 crore was signed on September 1.

A SkyStriker is an Unmanned aircraft system that can acquire and strike operator-designated targets with a a warhead installed in the fuselage. The drones are capable of mass destruction and can carry ammunition atop them and can strike targets from far off distances.

The Elbit systems’ website described SkyStriker as a cost-effective loitering munition that is capable of long-range precise tactical strikes. It can reach a distance of 20 kms within 10 minutes. 

The military drones have direct-fire aerial-precision capabilities to maneuverable troops and special forces. The UAV works as a ‘suicide drone’, which crashes into the target with the explosives. Further, the drone can locate, acquire and strike designated targets with a 5kg warhead installed inside the fuselage. Its electric propulsion provides a much-needed minimal acoustic signature, which allows covert operations at low altitude – making it a silent, invisible, and surprise attacker.

On August 31, 2021, the Indian Navy signed a contract with Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Limited (BEL) for the supply of the first indigenous comprehensive Naval Anti Drone System (NADS) with both hard kill and soft kill capabilities.  It will be an effective all-encompassing counter to the increased drone threat to strategic naval installations.

The indigenously developed anti-drone system is capable of instantly detecting, jamming micro drones and use a laser-based kill mechanism to terminate targets.

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