Night trials of UAVs in Chhattisgarh

Last Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 14:07

Kanker: In the aftermath of the Dantewada massacre of 76 security personnel by the Naxals, authorities have here begun night trials of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to equip security forces with real-time information of targets.

The trial held at the grounds of Counter Terrorism and
Jungle Warfare College here started yesterday and continued
till early this morning during which the security experts
gauged the machine`s feasibility during temperature
variations, at various heights and in detection of landmines.

The UAV known as T-MAV (Micro Air Vehicle) is a compact
machine manufactured by `Honeywell` and weighs around 10 kgs.
The company claims that its deployment and stowing operations
can be accomplished in less than five minutes.

Sources said the services of UAVs, which have been used
by US forces to track down Taliban militants, are urgently
required as the forces engaged in anti-naxal operations need
real-time information to achieve greater success.

UAVs can go up to a height of 10,000 feet, fly at a
speed of 70 kms per hour and can provide 240 minutes of sensor
imagery to the ground station.

The night-long trial also saw its use in detecting
people in pitch dark and dense forests. In certain cases of
detecting mines, the UAV could not pick up signals properly
and only showed some disturbance on the surface.

The trial attended by officials from Chhattisgarh, West
Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand,
besides an officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs, put the
machine through a rigorous examination and took it to various
hilly terrains as well as roads to check for hidden improvised
explosive devices (IEDs) using heat sensors.

A company official, while briefing the Central and state
representatives, said the machine`s advanced reconnaissance
and situational awareness functions would be critical in
protecting troops.

With its vertical take off facility, the UAV, already
deployed and helping American troops in their fight against
Taliban in Afghanistan, can provide advanced reconnaissance,
security and surveillance functions for troops on the ground
in various operational terrains.

The Government had decided to use the UAV?s following
last week`s killing of 76 security personnel so that there was
enough technical intelligence gathering, image capturing and
detailing of topography of the terrain to the forces going
into operations against Left-wing extremists.

Kanker, about 175 km from state capital Raipur, is
situated in the North Bastar district and is known for its
Jungle Warfare School run by the Army where personnel of
paramilitary forces are also trained in guerrilla warfare.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 14:07

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