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Monday, November 18, 2013

Robotic Critters For Indian Air Force Commandos

The Indian Air Force [IAF] to test the use of highly portable reconnaissance robots for its Special Forces [SF].

The IAF recently issued a Request For Proposal [RFP] seeking to acquire surveillance robots, which they have additionally/optionally Recon-Scout-XT-Indian-Air-Force-IAF-XT-Ridentified as Recon Scout XT®. The RFP, released on IAF's behalf, by the Garud Regimental Training Centre [GRTC], seeks to acquire, initially, 2 such robots & 1 control console.

The relatively recently raised Garud Commando Force operates with the primary mandate of undertaking exfiltration operations of pilots, downed behind enemy lines. Through the course of its existence, its been progressively kitting itself with better hardware. Starting off with the OFB-made INSAS, they transitioned to the Soviet-origin Kalashnikov assault rifles, & have now standardised themselves on the Israeli TAR21 [or its license-manufactured, OFB variant, the Zittara], the firearm of choice of all well-funded SF outfits in the country. The 2 robots it seeks to purchase might suggest that they would like to evaluate its usage & decide how best to incorporate it into their operational methodology.

Given that they've actually named the kind of system they're eyeing by its trade name, it might have an upper hand in this particular contract. It needs to be a Titanium-encased, low noise, hand-hurled device, that can be conveniently carried in an oversized pocket, weighing no more than 600 grams. This video, below, shows how the Recon Scout XT operates. Nifty device to have in your pocket when you're out saving valuable lives.

Needless to say, it would be highly desirable if an Indian company were to have a similar home-brewed solution that meets the IAF's requirements.


Also Read: Highly agile, autonomous & co-operative robots in action ~ Dr. Vijay Kumar [TED Talk]