India’s Military Testing Armed Drone Variants


I. A brief intro

  • India is testing armed drone variants to modernize its armed forces
  • The Indian Army is testing the PALM 400, an aerial targeting system
  • AVision Systems developed the PALM 400 in a joint venture with Aditya Precitech Private Ltd
  • The PALM 400 is a precision attack loitering munition designed to fly over concentrations of armored vehicles

II. PALM 400 Capabilities

A conceptual image of PALM -400
  • The PALM 400 can loiter over a kill zone for up to 120 minutes
  • It can fly at 3,000-4,000 feet above the ground at speeds of 50-140 knots
  • The system has state-of-the-art, stabilized, dual electro-optical/infrared cameras for day and night targeting
  • It has high-end homing capabilities to track static and moving targets
  • The PALM 400 fires armor-penetrating projectiles from the top when armored vehicles enter the kill zone,
  • The system is effective against strategic enemy targets and has customizable warheads for different types of targets

III. Trials and Success

  • Trials have shown exceptional maneuverability and a mid-air abort capability for the PALM 400
  • Its navigation methods allow it to operate in environments where GPS is denied
  • Recent test a PALM RPV passed trials in extreme altitudes and fired a thermobaric warhead that struck a target 8 km away
  • AVision Systems was chosen from 21 companies in a global request for proposal
  • The PALM system needs to pass trials in Pokhran

IV. Importance of Armed Drones

  • The 44-Day War in 2020 and the Russia-Ukraine War have established armed RPVs as battle-winning weapons of modern warfare
  • India is taking steps to remain a formidable military power in the region by equipping itself with armed drones
  • The PALM 400 has exceptional capabilities that can tilt the balance in conflicts on the Sino-Indian frontier and in the deserts of Rajasthan

V. Final Thoughts

  • India's testing of armed drone variants shows its commitment to modernizing its armed forces
  • The PALM 400 has state-of-the-art technology and exceptional capabilities
  • India is preparing itself for the challenges of the modern battlefield by developing and testing its armed drone capabilities


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