India has a series of military tests and trials planned for 2021, including that of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield, an Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) system for submarines, and drones, besides a number of missiles, including a BrahMos with an 800-km range.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said one of the key systems to go under trial in the coming year would be the AIP, which is aimed for integration with India’s fleet of six Scorpene submarines during refit. The trials for the indigenous AIP, which will allow conventional submarines to stay under water for a longer duration, is to begin in the first quarter of the new year, the sources added.
Another important trial that will take off is the one for phase 2 of the BMD, which aims to secure the country from all kinds of incoming missiles, including nuclear, and flying objects, through a multi-tier defence system. Phase 1 of the programme was completed last year.
Also on the agenda is the full-fledged trial of the indigenous Rustom 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2021, after much delay.
Capable of carrying the synthetic aperture radar, electronic intelligence systems and situational awareness systems, depending on mission objectives, the UAV is a medium-altitude long-endurance system.
The current stand-off with China in eastern Ladakh has brought to light India’s dire need for indigenous drone systems against a country that has become one of the world’s largest exporters of armed UAVs.
Source: The Print