“Modern drones and loitering munition will strengthen firepower of Indian Air Force”
CMD of Munitions India Limited (MIL) Ravi Kant said in an interview to Uday India’s News Editor Anshuman Anand that they had manufactured two types of modern drones, which would prove to be important and effective for the Indian Air Force. Excerpts:
Sir, this is an air show. What is MIL making especially for the Air Force?
See, when the Government of India divided the old Ordnance Factory Board into seven corporations, then Munitions India Limited (MIL) was formed and today it has been almost 1 year and 8 months. People related to the air force come to this air show but we have come mainly for the reason that we make bombs of five types for the air force, whose weight is 450 kg, 250 kg, thousand pounder. All these have been developed through in-house testing and methods and have the latest edition of 500 GP bomb, which we have made through DRDO’s technology. All these are being manufactured with the help of private industry and our other ordnance factories across the country. Apart from this, there is a huge requirement of drones, so we have developed and made two types of drones. We are making it with the cooperation of the startups in the country. It is noteworthy that there is a drone, which is our loitering munition, which has a range of 100 kilometers, and will hit the target when it is found and will self-destruct after destroying the target. And our second drone will go up to about 18 kilometers. Whenever any goods have to be delivered, according to the requirement, then it will be useful for ammunition delivery. In this way, by keeping ammunition up to 50 kg, we can deliver it to those places, where it is difficult to reach, such as hilly places, where mules or other pedestrian means are used. There, we can easily deliver it in a short time.This we have mainly developed for the Air Force.
It is mainly better for Siachen or hilly places. So, does it work with the same capacity in the severe cold places?
Of course, it works in the severe cold places. We have tested it in the Tawang area. There we have got the proper result.
It can carry goods up to 50 kg, which can also contain weapons and food items. So there will be no problem in this.
No. There will be no problem in carrying. You can carry anything in it but mainly we have made it to carry and bring ammunition or any weapon.
As we all know that in an area like Siachen, it takes three to four days to transport any goods by mules. How much time will it take to transport it with the drone made by you?
As I told you, it can carry ammunition up to 50 kg, so this drone made by us can easily deliver any goods in a few hours without any problem.
Tell us more about products made by MIL?
Our second product is loitering munition. Its range is 100 kilometers. We can keep about 2 kg of gunpowder in it and it will hit the target, when it is found and will self-destruct after destroying the target. And if it is not needed then it can also be called back. So, it can be called a fidayeen suicide drone, which can destroy itself by destroying the enemy.
You make five types of bombs for the Air Force. What are the special things about them?
All these five bombs, be it Russian aircraft, European-designed aircraft, or US-designed aircraft, can be used equally in all of them. The firepower of all of these is very high. Inside each one explosives ranging from 150 kg to 200 kg are filled. They can easily be dropped from a height of 800 meters to 10 kilometers and they work with full firepower. Their lethal area is towards the bottom and whatever remains in the radius of 40 meters will be completely destroyed. And all the things in the radius of about 800 meters fall under the danger zone.
In which fighter planes do these bombs installed? Do these also fit in Indian fighter planes like Tejas?
This bomb will mainly be used in LCA. It will be used in Sukhoi. It can easily be used in Jaguar as well as in all main fighter jets. And now trial work is going on for Prachanda. We manufacture a wide range of products for the Air Force as well as the Army, in which Pinaka is the main. And we manufacture all its four varieties, in which we have received major cooperation from DRDO. We have also received their export orders. Along with the Indian Army, we are also supplying them to other countries. We are fully working on the vision of the Prime Minister and Defence Minister for Make in India and Make for the world. We are making everything in the country for the country and are also exporting them.
As the Prime Minister said that we would receive foreign exchange worth Rs 25 thousand crore from defence exports in the next one year, what will be the role of Pinaka in this?
We have taken orders worth thousand crores in the last 18 months since MIL was formed.
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