Image Source : INDIA TV Nagastra–1

Nagastra–1: In a major breakthrough to the government’s initiative of bringing ‘atmanirbharta’ (self-reliance) in ammunition and defence systems, the Indian Amry is set to induct its first indigenous loiter munition, Nagastra-1. Developed by Solar Industries, Nagpur, the Army has placed a supply order for Economics Explosives Ltd (EEL), a 100 per cent subsidiary of Solar Industries, to supply 480 loiter munitions under emergency purchase. 

After the successful completion of the Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) during May 20-25, EEL on today (June 14) delivered 120 loiter munitions to the Ammunition Depot at Pulgaon.

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What is Nagastra-1 and its features?

Nagastra -1, in a ‘kamikaze mode’ can neutralize any hostile threat with a GPS-enabled precision strike with an accuracy of 2m. The man-portable fixed-wing electric UAV of weight 9 kg has an endurance of 30 minutes. It offers a 15 km range with man-in-loop control and extends up to 30 km in autonomous mode. Its electric propulsion system provides low acoustic signature to make it undetectable by the enemy at a height of more than 200 m.

In addition to day and night surveillance cameras, the loiter munition is equipped with a 1 kg high explosive fragmenting warhead to defeat soft-skin targets. In case of target not detected or if the mission is aborted, the loiter munition can be called back and make a soft landing with a parachute recovery mechanism enabling it to be reused multiple times. Abort, recover and reuse features of this Loiter Munition make this system superior to similar class of systems developed by advanced countries.

Nagastra-1 is Man-portable system

Economics Explosives Ltd (EEL) has designed and developed Nagastra-1 with more than 75 per cent indigenous contents (IC) in association with Z-Motion Autonomous Systems Pvt Ltd, Bangalore. It is a man-portable system with an all-up weight of 30 kg in two rucksacks which includes a Ground Control Station, Communication Control, Payload and Pneumatic Launcher.

Drone technology has proved to be a Force Multiplier in military operations as evident from its application in various recent conflicts across the World especially Armenia – Azerbaijan, Syria, Strike on Oilfields in Saudi Arabia, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Even in our context, the recent incidents along the borders have been a noticeable increase in drone-related incidents along the Northern Borders in the recent past.

Most industries in our country do not have the special expertise and facilities required for the use of drones and UAVs for combat applications. Solar Industries have taken the initiative to develop weaponised drones to neutralize various targets using gravity drop bombs or guided missiles on board drones or using drones in a kamikaze mode in the form of Loiter Munitions. The successful development of Nagastra-1, Loiter Munition is the first success and many more will happen in due course of time. This development will go a long way to boost the indigenous capability of using drones/ UAVs as war machinery.