DRDO plans Rs 500-crore unmanned ground vehicle for the Indian army; DRDO’s robot to help Indian army in fighting terrorism
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  • (December 19-25, 2011)
    According to reports, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working on an Rs 500-crore unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) programme that seeks to address the Army's requirement for various types of UGVs over the next 10 years. The use of UGVs, which are state-of-the-art robots, has acquired a greater significance in counter-insurgency, urban- as well as jungle-warfare situations for varied tasks, including surveillance and reconnaissance operations and safe handling and disposal of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). DRDO's distinguished scientist and chief controller of armament combat engineering and services interaction S Sundaresh said, “We are in discussion with the Army to finalise the UGV programme soon.” "The ongoing efforts of four DRDO laboratories, including Pune's Research and Development Establishment (R&DE - Engineers), which are into developing various systems for UGVs, will be combined for rolling out products specified by the Army," he added. 1

    In another development, reports noted that DRDO’s robot, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Daksh was handed over to the Indian Army on Monday. The flagging off ceremony of six of the Limited Series Production (LSP) models took place at the Research and Development Engineers (R&DE), the laboratory, along with private partners has developed the robot starting May 2002. The robot, which can handle, scan and defuse Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) will add to the Indian Army’s existing fleet of 45 such imported Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV). Besides the LSP order of 20 which would be delivered soon, over 100 ROVs are required by the Army in future. “Induction of ROV Daksh into the field Army is a step forward as far as fighting terrorism or non- state actors is concerned. IEDs are used by the non-state actors as they are low cost option and reap maximum dividends,” said Maj Gen Rakesh Bassi, director general (Combat Engineers) who accepted the equipment on behalf of the Indian Army. Daksh is a 100 per cent indigenous robot with contribution from Indian SMEs, notable amongst them being Dynalog. It is an outcome of the Army’s review of its counter IED Policy in the ’90s. 2