The Indian government has not only emphasized the need to increase the number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the Indian Armed Forces but also to strengthen the service’s ability to deploy such technologies across a wide range of tactical missions.
To achieve this, India has increased collaboration with foreign partners – particularly, Israel and the United States – to procure UAVs and enable transfer of technologies. Such activity is aligned with the government’s effort to develop the domestic private sector and reduce dependency on imports.
These initiatives have been spurred by the changing nature of warfare and the tense geopolitical environment in India’s surrounding region. UAVs play a crucial role in supporting the Indian Armed Forces’ intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations, particularly along India’s disputed borders with China and Pakistan as well as in the Indian Ocean region where China has been attempting to expand its presence.