The study estimates the count of UAVs required for the three Services

The study estimates the count of UAVs required for the three Services

The study estimates the count of UAVs required for the three Services


Two studies on significant military platforms used by the three Services have been commissioned by General Anil Chauhan, Chief of Defence Staff. These platforms are armoured helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), according to defence sources. Since then, the UAV study has been concluded, and the recommendation is to purchase 155 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) and 31 high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) MQ-9B UAVs.

What was the study conducted by the Tri-services and what was the outcome of the study?

  • Studies conducted: Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan has directed the conducting of two studies on significant military systems, with an emphasis on armoured helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
  • Goal of the Research: The goal of these studies is to minimize the number of platforms needed, use resources wisely, and prevent duplication when purchasing military equipment for the Indian armed forces.
  •  Completion of UAV Study: The investigation into UAVs has been finished, and its conclusions include suggestions for certain UAV purchases. The following are the suggestions:
    • Acquire 31 MQ-9B high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAVs.
    • Acquire 155 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs.

What is the need for UAVs in the armed forces?

  • Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR): UAVs play a key role in delivering real-time ISR capabilities. They can be fitted with a variety of sensors, such as radar, infrared imaging, and cameras, to survey large regions, acquire intelligence, and keep an eye on enemy movements all without endangering human life.
  • Acquisition of Targets: UAVs aid in precisely locating and designating targets for airstrikes or artillery fire. They can provide more accurate target information because of their propensity to hover over a target region for extended periods.
  • Tactical and Strategic Awareness: By giving the armed forces an aerial perspective of the battleground, UAVs improve their situational awareness. Making educated decisions, comprehending the enemy’s nature, and guaranteeing the security of friendly forces are all made easier with the use of this information.
  • Search and Rescue: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) can be utilized in humanitarian and disaster relief operations to find and evaluate the health of victims. They may offer insightful information to direct search and rescue operations.
  • Communication Relay: In areas with limited traditional communication infrastructure, such as remote or difficult terrain, certain UAVs can serve as communication relays, expanding the reach of communication.
  • Electronic warfare: To interfere with enemy communications and radar systems, UAVs might be fitted with electronic countermeasures.
  • Combat Support: By carrying and deploying weapons, armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—like the MQ-9 Reaper—can conduct offensive operations and take out strategic targets.

What is the requirement for Armoured Helicopters in India?

  • Ground Support and Attack: Enemy troops, armoured vehicles, and fortifications are among the ground threats that armoured helicopters are intended to combat. They are useful in close air support (CAS) operations because they are equipped with cutting-edge sensors, powerful weapons systems, and precision-guided missiles. During combat operations, these helicopters are capable of giving ground forces direct fire support.
  • Anti-Tank Operations: Armed with anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), armoured helicopters, especially the Apache, are capable of engaging and destroying enemy armoured vehicles, including tanks. With the prevalence of armoured formations in modern combat, this capacity is essential.
  • Counter-Insurgency Operations: In counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, armoured helicopters are invaluable. They can reduce collateral damage by focusing on terrorists or insurgents who are concealed in hazardous or urban environments.
  •  Air Defense: When operating within their operational range, armoured helicopters can engage hostile aircraft or unmanned aerial threats. This gives allied forces and important installations an additional layer of security.
  • Versatility: Armored helicopters are adaptable platforms that may be used for a range of mission scenarios. One example of this is the Apache. In addition to their main assault duty, they may also perform escort, observation, and reconnaissance missions.


In conclusion, the armoured helicopter study has not yet been completed, and its conclusions are pending finalization. In contrast, the UAV study suggested the purchase of particular UAV models and offered information on their quantities.