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Amit Kushwaha asked: Is employment of UAVs / UCAVs instead of manned aircrafts a better option for combating insurgency and terrorism in India?

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  • Vivek Chadha replies: India follows the principle of minimum force during combating insurgency and terrorism. With this as the backdrop, the employment of aircraft for offensive roles is ruled out given the possibility of collateral damage and escalation involved. It is only helicopters which are used for logistics (supply) and casualty evacuation in our context, and at times for movement of forces to ensure better mobility and flexibility. Therefore, while UAVs and UCAVs may not have a direct replacement role vis-à-vis aircraft, however, they can certainly be used for surveillance and tracking purposes. This would help conduct clinical and hard intelligence based operations which are in the spirit of India's counter-insurgency doctrine. Their employment for precision and guided strikes is not relevant in the Indian context, as it is against the very ethos of minimum force - a fundamental principle followed scrupulously.