RUAV-200 Fabrication Starts, SiG-716 Blunders by Army, Mini UAVs For Himalayas

RUAV-200: HAL Starts fabrication for the first flight

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited after a delay of nearly a year has commenced procuring Main Rotor Blades, Main Rotor Head, Upper Control System, and Tail Rotor System, for the installation to be done on the prototype that already has been fabricated and now plans to test later in the year. RUAV-200 a coaxial rotor helicopter drone developed in partnership by HAL with DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment and IIT Kanpur, will be used as a Mule Drone for High Altitude Logistics operations by the Indian Army.

Indian Army wants to use a RUAV-200 drone for transporting not only rations but also materials in unfriendly terrains. According to HAL, a 200kg RUAV-200 drone will be able to carry a 30 to 40kg payload in the Northern regions, large High Altitude Areas where supply lines in these areas have to be maintained either through helicopters, Porters, or Mules or local ponies. Mule drones shall provide a more reliable supply chain route for provisioning troops based in High Altitude Areas.

Indian Army wants drones for Himalayas

To constantly keep an eye along the border with Pakistan and China, the Ministry of Defence intends to procure small sized surveillance drones, also called quadcopters for the Indian Army. It seeks two versions, one for deployment at an altitude greater than 4,000m ie. 13,100ft, and the other for an altitude below 4,000m. A formal request for information, the first stage of the tendering process was sent out to Indian vendors on Thursday.

The Army is looking for a drone that has all up weight of 10kg. It should be equipped with a video camera and a night sensor, and fly within the 5km range. Militarily, these are called tactical drones and provide real time imagery and videos to the forward deployed troops and commanders. The weight of the drones should be such that it is able to withstand high altitude strong wind up to 37 km/hr and it must be capable to launch at 5,500m (18,000 feet) and fly at least 500 metre above ground. Both versions of the drones need the capability to launch and land on an unprepared area.

Sig 716: Circus of the Indian Generals

India has decided against placing repeat orders for 72,400 SiG Saur assault rifles from the US, after it faced higher recoil, jamming, and accuracy in burst mode firing when using locally sourced ammunition. SiG 716 Patrol 7.62mm rifles were procured for the Indian Army units deployed along the border with Pakistan in Kashmir, and for the counter insurgency operations in the region.

A video that has gone viral is of an Indian soldier where it was noticed that the gun suffered from heavy recoil on single fire mode and recoil was so bad that the soldier almost lost control of his weapon after the first bust. Video is allegedly from the time when the weapon was getting inducted by the Army, so Army knew about issues with the gun at least from early 2020.

$91.9 million were spent on procurement of these weapons that work well only with the imported ammunition, and framed trial by the fire of the Indian Army standard is now under question, on how it was not noticed earlier and why it never suffered such high recoil with Indian made ammunition in previous trials if they were carried out, if these issues were noticed, then why and who cleared it for procurement?. It’s high time that the Ministry of Defence takes notice of this blunder made by the Indian Army higher officials and stop procurement of imported assault rifles and starts work on local alternatives with public and private sector companies.

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