The ministry of defence has decided to procure a slew of hi-tech weapons with an eye on increasing its advantage in combat. Experts say India is in a serious weapons race with its neighbours

The ministry of defence has decided to procure weapons such as jetpacks, robot mules, drone systems, and jammers with an eye on increasing its advantage in combat.

“The Ministry of Defence, Government of India, intends to procure quantity 100 Robotic Mule along with Associated Accessories under emergency procurement through Fast Track Procedure (FTP) under Buy (Indian) category and seeks participation in the procurement process from prospective Bidders,” the ministry said in a statement.

Let’s take a closer look:


The army will procure the robotic mules as well as four dozen jetpacks that will be deployed under ‘special circumstances’.

A senior officer told the newspaper India will be the third nation – after the US and UK – whose troops will have jetpacks.

Such equipment will allow personnel to cover terrain previously considered ‘inhospitable’ for humans.

Sources told a newspaper such equipment can be used at various places apart from the border.

The final date of submission for jetpacks is 7 February.

Any bidder will have to support the equipment including maintenance, materials, and spares for at least ten years, as per the newspaper.

Robotic Mules

Robotic mules will be capable of autonomous movement across different terrain and will have the ability to self-recover and avoid obstacles. The mules, with a payload capacity of 10 kg, will be able to operate on uneven terrain and ascend and descend.

They will be able to scale stairs and will be assigned a route — to be tracked via a command station at least a hundred kilometres away.

These mules will be used to carry out surveillance thus decreasing the dependence on human beings.

The mules could even be deployed by special forces.

The training for jetpacks and robotic mules will occur at the cantonment board Bakloh in Himachal Pradesh. It is important to note, however, that the US military eschewed its development of robot mules after the special force noted that the noise they made gave away its coordinates.


As per Indian Express, these systems are made up of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as a ground-based tether station. Such drones can be used to keep track of targets beyond the line of sight for a long time as well as deployed independently for a certain period.

They can also be launched in an untethered mode for a certain duration to confirm inputs. The army in its Request for Proposal (RFP) said each system will have- 

Two aerial vehicles with combined Electro Optic/Infrared Payloads

One remote video terminal and generator set

One battery charger, one spare battery per drone and a modular carrying case for the system.

The systems must have 60 per cent indigenous content at a minimum and will be procured under the ‘Buy India’ category, as per Indian Express.

Jetpacks Robot Mules Drones How Indian Army Is Set To Go Hi-Tech

During demonstrations, the drone has reportedly shown little recoil effect when the gun is fired. It also uses a laser range finder to help it shoot accurately. The drones, which must have the capability to be deployed in 10 minutes, must weigh around 15 kg and must be able to operate six hours in tethered mode and 45 minutes in untethered mode.

Experts say India is in a serious weapons race with our neighbours.

Professor Kumar Sanjay Singh, who teaches modern history at Delhi University and specialises in Cold War politics, told The Week it initially began with Pakistan but has increased with China.

“First, China has suddenly decided it can unilaterally violate the SOPs developed to ensure violence did not break out along the LAC. Second, China has made rapid strides in military modernisation and war-fighting capability, which has created serious asymmetry between Indian and Chinese militaries along the LAC. There is, therefore, a pressing concern to upgrade India’s military capability. It is focused on procurement of advanced weaponry and on indigenisation of defence production. This is because of the realisation that over-reliance on Russia and the west for weapons is curtailing India’s capability to manoeuvre in international politics,” Singh told the outlet.

With inputs from agencies