The Indian defense ministry has accorded the purchase of 54 Harop attack drones from Israel.
"A proposal to acquire these 54 attack drones was approved by the Defence Ministry at a high-level meeting last week," ANI reported Wednesday quoting defense sources as saying.
The Air Force already has an inventory of around 110 of these drones which have now been renamed as P-4. These are equipped with electro-optical sensors to loiter over military targets such as surveillance bases and radar stations before exploding them.
HAROP is an anti-radiation drone developed by Israel Aerospace Industry. It can autonomously home in on radio emissions. Rather than holding a separate high-explosive warhead, the drone itself is the main munition.
The UAV has SEAD-optimised loitering munition is designed to loiter the battlefield and attack targets by self-destructing close them.
The UAV can either operate fully autonomously, using its anti-radar homing system, or it can take a human-in-the-loop mode. If a target is not engaged, the drone will return and land itself back at base. It has been designed to have a minimal radar-signature allowing it to perform stealth operations.
HAROP drones are designed to target enemy air-defense systems in a first line of attack, as the small drone can evade SAMs and radar detection systems which are designed to target much larger aircraft or to intercept fixed-trajectory missiles.