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Anoop K. asked: How crucial are Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) for India’s military as well as paramilitary forces?

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  • Vikrant Deshpande replies: As modern warfare shifts from the industrial to the information age, transparency, situational awareness and non-contact warfare will be key force multipliers and therefore UGVs and even their armed versions will be an integral part of force modernisation, the world over and in India. They also have a crucial role in internal security, especially in an IED prone environment like Left Wing Extremism. The only issue is cost to benefit ratio. As artificial intelligence and robotics develop, so will their application in the kinetic domain. However, their induction will depend upon the costs involved and their ability to replace manned versions as their sensors could be easily deceived by other means. The initial trials are bound to run into teething problems relating to false sensory data and interpretation, but there will be a stage in the development cycle where the benefits outweigh the costs and that will be the tipping point for their induction. As for India, the tipping point could be a decade or two away.

    Posted on May 08, 2018