500+ combat robots set to strengthen Indian Army defenses in Kashmir – media
The Defense Ministry is looking for around 550 “robotic surveillance units,” each with a 25-year lifespan, according to Indian media, citing military sources. “These robots should be capable enough for water fording with minimum 20cm depth,” an unnamed officer told Livemint.
Once acquired, the robots will be sent to the Rashtriya Rifles, the Indian Army’s counter-insurgency force. The unit will use them in built-up areas to gather intelligence on terrorists’ movements.
Aside from collecting imagery intelligence, the unmanned vehicles will be armed and capable of firing “suitable munitions at the intended target, for example, throwing grenade at places where the terrorists are holed up,” the source explained.
The use of robots will also help to avoid casualties among Indian troops during search-and-rescue operations in the troubled Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir, the military believes.
The news comes as sporadic clashes continue to flare up along the troubled Line of Control in Himalayan region, involving artillery shelling and small arms fire from both sides.
Mutual animosity between the nuclear-armed foes escalated again in August, when India revoked Kashmir’s special status, citing the need to quell terrorism and extremism there. Pakistan, in turn, accused New Delhi of trying to suppress Muslims who make up the majority of the population in Jammu and Kashmir.
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