The Indian Army plans to integrate PALM 400 loitering munitions into its operations, as part of a broader initiative to incorporate cutting-edge AI-based unmanned technologies. These innovative drones have the potential to revolutionize India’s pursuit of advanced technology, according to a report by Business Standard.
The PALM 400, also known as the “Precision Attack Loitering Munition,” was recently put to the test in Pokhran by the Army. The trial results were exceptionally positive.
In addition to Pokhran, the PALM 400 loitering munition was tested in Sikkim, where it performed exceptionally well during all trials.
The report states that the drone soared from an altitude of 18,000 feet, hovered at 19,500 feet, and successfully neutralized a target situated 8 kilometres away.
AVision Systems, a joint venture between Israeli firm UVision Air Ltd and Hyderabad-based Aditya Precitech Private Ltd (APPL), manufactures the Loitering munition.
The PALM 400 boasts an impressive loitering capability of up to 120 minutes while flying at speeds ranging from 50 to 140 knots (90 to 260 kilometres per hour) at an altitude of 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the ground, with a maximum range exceeding 100 km.
This sophisticated drone employs state-of-the-art, stabilized, dual electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, enabling target identification and engagement regardless of lighting conditions.
Furthermore, PALM 400 is equipped with a mid-air abort capability, allowing for automatic re-entry into loitering mode, re-engagement, or safe return using a parachute. It can also operate effectively in Global Positioning System (GPS) denied environments.
The Army has already initiated a Global Request-for-Proposals (RFP) for the acquisition of over 2,000 drones.
Remarkably, the Indian Army made history by becoming the first in the world to receive a fully operational SWARM drone system during Aero India 2023.
According to the report, if the munition successfully passes trials in Pokhran, AVision stands to secure significant orders.