Asia Military

DRDO’s two-decade-old Nishant UAV programme crashes; Indian Army cancels further orders


NEW DELHI: A two-decade-old Rs 90 cr Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programme has proved a dud, with the Indian Army shelving the system and cancelling any further orders after three of the four systems supplied by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) ended up in crashes. As a result, DRDO may need to write off a Rs 5 crore overspend it incurred on the project in the hope of recovering the money from the maintenance and servicing of the systems.

The Nishant UAV programme, which has been in the works since 1995, was launched with the aim of providing the Army with indigenous systems for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. While four of the UAVs were inducted in 2011 after a long delay, at least three are confirmed to have crashed. The last one went down on November 4 in Jaisalmer.

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