Sputnik Opinion
In-depth analysis of regional & global events provided by Indian & foreign experts - from politics & economics to sci-tech & health.

New Underwater-Launched Drone Expected to Be Game Changer For Indian Military

© Photo : Social MediaAUV underwater drone
AUV underwater drone - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.06.2024
Earlier this week, India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) inked a pact with a private sector firm to develop India's maiden set of underwater-launched unmanned aerial vehicles (ULUAVs) to transform the country's underwater security apparatus.
ULUAVs would be game-changers for India's undersea forces because they would dramatically expand the operational envelope of the Indian Navy, marking a significant advancement in its submarine capabilities, a noted author tracking the country's blue water force has said.
In light of DRDO's tie-up with Sagar Defence on designing state-of-art underwater drones for the country's maritime forces, Aritra Banerjee, the co-author of the book "The Indian Navy@75: Reminiscing The Voyage", underlined that the development of underwater-launched unmanned aerial vehicles by governmental organisation in collaboration with private sector innovator sugnifies a substantial progress in the Indian Navy's submarine capabilities.
These ULUAVs are not merely drones launched from submarines; they are complex, versatile platforms that drastically expand the operational scope of Indian undersea forces, he claimed during a conversation with Sputnik India on Thursday.
He pointed out that while current Indian ULUAV projects primarily focus on ISR, research into weaponized ULUAVs is ongoing globally, and India may also explore this option in the future.

"By enabling submerged submarines to discreetly launch aerial assets, ULUAVs effectively multiply the reach and effectiveness of our submarine fleet. This is a game-changer for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions, allowing for real-time data collection without compromising the submarine's stealth. ULUAVs can provide critical situational awareness, extending the 'eyes and ears' of the Indian Navy far beyond the traditional limitations of periscopes and sonar," Banerjee told.

At the same time, with ongoing advancements in miniaturization, autonomy, and payload integration, the potential roles of ULUAVs are continually expanding, making them an indispensable force multiplier in the dynamic maritime environment of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the naval expert opined.

How ULUAVs Transform Underwater Warfare

Hence, Aritra Banerjee believes that ULUAVs are poised to revolutionize underwater warfare for the Indian Navy, particularly as it seeks to consolidate its position as a preeminent blue-water navy in the IOR.
This emerging technology is not just an incremental improvement; it's a paradigm shift in how submarines operate and fight, he noted.

"The ability to launch aerial drones from torpedo tubes fundamentally alters the tactical landscape. While recovery mechanisms for some ULUAVs are still under development, submarines, traditionally reliant on passive sensors and limited communication windows, now gain access to real-time, high-resolution imagery and data from above the surface. This allows for enhanced targeting, rapid battle damage assessment, and improved coordination with other naval assets," Banerjee explained.

In the broader strategic context, ULUAVs enhance the Indian Navy's anti-access/area-denial capabilities, which are particularly crucial in the face of growing geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific, the international relations analyst reckoned.
By creating an "invisible shield" around critical maritime zones like the Malacca Strait or Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ULUAVs can provide early warning of hostile incursions, enabling preemptive responses and safeguarding vital sea lines of communication, he stressed.

"The Indian Navy's investment in ULUAVs exemplifies its commitment to continued technological innovation. By embracing cutting-edge solutions, the Indian Navy ensures it remains a combat-ready, credible, and cohesive force with a future-ready outlook. This positions it at the forefront of modern naval warfare, ready to deter aggression and safeguard India's maritime interests," Banerjee concluded.

Meantime, once developed, ULUAVs with a longer endurance of more than one hour and a range of over 20 km, will have the capacity to be launched from submarines in deep sea waters, offering an important advantage of carrying out discreet surveillance expeditions, the Sagar Defence elaborated.

"This ULUAV technology is going to be highly advanced. And we are the first to develop this technology in India," Mridul Babbar, the company's Director & Vice-President of Business Development said in a statement on Wednesday.

India's Indigenous Midget Submarine Prototype 'Arowana' Unveiled - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.05.2024
How India's Midget Submarine Would Bring a Paradigm Shift in Its Underwater Operations
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала