Is PM Modi’s next big plan surgical strike without soldiers?

 The strikes in Myanmar and PoK were very successful not only because our army dealt heavy damage on the adversary, but primarily because we suffered no casualties. Having said this, in such a strike there is always the risk of losing soldiers. But now that risk will also fade away.

This will be enabled by special drones that India will acquire from Israel. Our first missile armed drones will have the capability to carry out standoff cross-border strikes.The Heron TP-armed drones are capable of detecting, tracking and taking down targets with air to ground missiles.

The Heron TPs are capable of reconnaissance, combat and support roles, carrying a payload of air to ground missiles to take down targets deep in enemy territory.

The drones are ready in Israel before Prime Minister Modi makes his historic tour to the country. Israel is one of the top weapon suppliers to India and the engagement between the two countries is rising rapidly under the Modi government.

The Heron TP-armed drones are ready for delivery. These drones have been on the wish list of the armed forces for years, but the program was fast tracked only in September 2015. The defence ministry had quietly approved the purchase of 10 missile-armed drones from Israel for $400 million after permission from the top leadership.

The Indian Air Force already has a fleet of Harpy UAVs from Israel, but they are not equipped with missiles. They are simply self-destructing systems primarily tasked with taking out enemy radar positions.

The armed forces had proposed buying the same armed drones in 2012. But that proposal did not get political backing in UPA-2. It’s a shame that the Congress-led alliance didn’t even have enough political will to buy these drones. Maybe they feared the deal would get marred by corruption, or they didn’t want to purchase from Israel so as not to anger the Muslim population of the country.

These drones will give India the option of taking out large terrorist camps or individual targets across the border with minimal risk. Given how Pakistan continues its misadventures of pushing terrorists and killing our soldiers, these drones could prove to be a game-changer in bringing Pakistan to its knees.

Vinayak Jain