NEW DELHI: In a first, India has demonstrated an offensive swarm drone system that simulated taking down a range of targets, ranging from tanks, terror camps, helipads and fuel dumps at the annual Army Day parade in the capital.

The demonstration, which consisted of 75 drones working autonomously to identify and take down targets with Kamikaze missions, is an early peek into future technology being developed by the Army in partnership with the private industry.

At the demonstration, the Army mentioned the system as a disruption technology that has been changing warfare around the world. Besides strike missions against a variety of targets, the drones also simulating dropping supplies to ground troops like medicines and stores.

These close support operations, vital when troops are in difficult to reach locations, can be a significant capability. The Army said that it can drop over 600 kg of supplies with a 75 drone swarm system, cutting down risks to support troops.

The Army, which started working on the swarm drone system in August last year in partnership with NewSpace Research and Technologies, plans to scale up the technology to fly over 1,000 rotary wing drones at the same time for a mission. In August, the program started with 5 systems flying together that has been scaled up to 75 for the Army Day demonstration.

Some key capabilities demonstrated included a mother drone system that was part of the swarm, which released four `child drones’ each of which had individual targets.

As reported by ET, India is also accelerating plans to develop an air launched swarm drone system that is being especially designed to defeat enemy advanced air defences, like the ones deployed by China across the Ladakh border since tensions broke out in early May.

The project, which envisages a Jaguar land attack aircraft launching up to 24 killer drones that take down individual targets, already has the air force on board and involves at least two start-ups as well as the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

Being developed under the Combat Air Teaming System (CATS) project, the plan is to complete development process within four years and a system that will greatly reduce the vulnerability of pilots and fighter jets to ground based air defences.