The Indian Army awarded a contract worth $13.7 million in late August to a joint venture between Israel's Elbit Systems and local company Alpha Design Technologies Limited (ADTL) for the supply of 100 SkyStriker loitering munition systems.
Elbit's SkyStriker is a precision-guided system designed to seek, locate, and acquire operator-marked targets and targets of opportunity in tactical-level engagements. According to Elbit, the SkyStriker can cover a distance of 20km within 10 minutes, and upon reaching the target area, it can loiter and pursue the target for up to two hours when fitted with a 5kg warhead, or for up to one hour with a 10kg warhead.
The system uses autonomous navigation for its cruising and loitering modes. When preparing to strike, it electro-optically locks on the target. The munition can be deployed as a standalone system or as part of a drone swarm. The SkyStriker's operator can also abort the strike up to two seconds before impact, re-engage or, if engagement is not authorized, redirect the munition so it can be recovered safely, according to the company.
The Janes website reported that several days after awarding the contract to Elbit, the Indian Army awarded a separate contract, also worth $13.7 million, to Bangalore-based NewSpace Research and Technologies for 100 locally developed "swarm drone units" capable of seeking, tracking, and striking enemy targets with a 5kg or 10kg warhead in tactical-level engagements.