DRDO today said it is developing UAVs for use by CRPF to track down Left-wing extremists in thick forest areas of Naxal-hit states including Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. "We are planning to do a demonstration of Nishant UAV from Jagdalpur sometime in March and April around that region.
They have roughly indicated the requirement of 16 birds to start with," DRDO chief Avinash Chader told a press conference at the Defexpo here. "We have been working with CRPF to freeze the configuration required for operation in the area and elements.
The configuration of Nishant in Army is much different because in remote area operations they want extra vehicles in that area," he said.
CRPF is deployed in large numbers in counter-insurgency operations in the states, including Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand, and was earlier using the UAVs of IAF and NTRO. However, due to their limited capability in penetrating thick forest areas, IAF has removed them from there.
On development of UAV sensors which would be able to penetrate Indian rain forests, he said, "No technology is available yet to penetrate the dense foliage of Indian tropical forests. "We are working on lower frequency radars that will be able to penetrate foliage. Within a couple of years we will have a solution."
Giving an update on the Arjun Mark II user trials, the DRDO chief said, "The user trials have been completed. There are small issues with the missile system being fired, which will be rectified." Arjun MkII is an advanced version of the indigenous main battle tank and is undergoing trials in the desert areas of Rajasthan for getting nod for induction into the Army.