February 5, 2023

Import MQ9 Reapers or invest more in desi UAV development?

Question: Last war seen in Azerbaijan & Armenia, precise Drone strike is played key role by Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area. After seeing this, Less human interaction in war can play big role in next future conflict. Should IAF focus & allot more budget on R&D work in indegeneous drone program rather than acquire huge costly MQ-9 reaper drone(3 billon dollar deal)? ~ Prajapati Maulik

We all have seen now that how UAVs are a necessity. For now and in future. Should the budget and efforts for desi UAV efforts be increased. 100% agreed. Should we aim to keep imports for UAVs to zero in future, definitely yes.

But the ground situation remains today that the forces require a proper armed UAV and the in house efforts will not satisfy those. Therefore it’s a necessity to import few MALE UAVs.

The cost of UAVs is justified and surely not a rip off. And no doubt these will be highly effective in the hands of our forces.

We need to find a balance, to improve funding and resource allocation to the in house development projects all the while ensuring that the immediate requirements for national security are also taken care off.

Both the things need to happen.


  • Ankit Kumar

    An independent analyst with engineering background. Besides covering military affairs, he is also interested in space, airlines, infrastructure, nuclear, energy and related issues.

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