Context: Army has used its emergency powers to order more than 300 indigenous suicide drones ‘Nagastra 1’ from Nagpur-based Solar Industries. The procurement would enable shorter selection time and expedited deliveries of the drones within one year.
- Nagastra 1 is the first indigenous Loiter Munition (LM) which can strike targets within 15-30 km using GPS-enabled precision. It can loiter over a target for a maximum of 60 minutes and has an accuracy of less than 2 metres.
- The fixed-wing electric-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses GPS for precision strikes and is capable of destroying various soft-skinned targets using its pre-fragmented high explosive warhead. The munition also carries a day-and-night camera for surveillance as well.
- The Nagastra-1 in its ‘Kamikaze’ mode can search and destroy any target by crashing into it. If the target is not found or the mission is aborted, the munition can be called back and recovered using a parachute.
- Developed by: Economic Explosives Limited
- It is a cost-effective weapon against low-value targets. The drones can undertake shallow strikes with precision, without endangering the lives of soldiers.
- It will enhance options for armed forces to strike terrorist camps and launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan.
- The system has over 75% indigenous content, cutting down dependence on foreign sources, and is fully designed and developed in India.
It is also likely to have a strong export potential, given the growing demand for economical stand-off weapons that can deliver precision strikes.