The Indian Air Force will soon procure robots that can defuse bombs weighing up to 1,000 kgs that have not exploded reports India Today.

The need for this was felt after Pakistan's retaliation to the Balakot airstrike; its air force targeted Indian military installations and dropped bombs that remained unexploded and continued to be a threat.

Though the Unexploded Ordnance Handling Robot (UXOR) was not officially inducted by the Indian Air Force, it was used to defuse the bombs, sources said.

The robot is indigenously designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and is on display at the Defence Expo in Lucknow.

The IAF is now in the process of acquiring these robots after they have been put through several trials.

“The Unexploded Ordnance Handling Robot (UXOR) has met all the operational requirements in the trials conducted at various locations under different conditions. The IAF will induct 11 robots for their operational objectives,” Makarand Joshi, the R&DE(E) director, told TOI. “We have transferred the technology to three industry partners who will be manufacturing these robots and supplying them to the IAF in the next few years.”

"We have done number of trials from the Indian Air Force and validated the requirements for defusing bombs at various locations," said DRDO scientist Alok Mukherjee, who has been part of the developing team.

A remotely-operated robot can diffuse an UXOs from a 1km line of sight. “It is equipped with an abrasive water jet cutting machine. It has two manipulator arms. While one is for handling heavy UXOs, the other is for cutting the fuse of the UXOs safely,” said Joshi.

The IAF wanted the robot because there are places in the border areas where UXOs have remained unexploded and continue to be a threat to defence establishments.

The robots are monitored from a mobile centre and remove the need for humans to defuse bombs, making them an important tool in times to come.

"These robots are controlled remotely from a distance of 2 km. The operator can locate and defuse the explosive by using high pressure water jets," Alok Mukherjee said.

UXOR has good cross-country mobility with six hours of endurance.