Indian Air Force plans separate cadre for unmanned aerial vehicles

With changing threat perceptions and anticipated future warfare scenarios, the Indian Air Force is actively considering the creation of a separate cadre for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), including the combat versions (UCAVs), missiles, air defence and other weapon systems, a proposal for which is being vetted by the Air Headquarters, Indian Defence News says quoting a newspaper report.

IAF_DronesThis would mean that from the time of recruitment, candidates will be selected for these specific cadres just like fighter, transport and helicopter pilots are picked, increasing career options for aspirants.

With the IAF inducting the bulk of the over 200 UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs) acquired by the Indian armed forces since 2000, the IAF Training Command, headquartered in Bengaluru, had taken the leading by asking for a separate UAV cadre in 2012.

Sources in South Block told Times of India that the proposal has now been expanded to a “weapon systems branch”, which will include drones, air defence missiles and other weapons systems, which are all headed and largely handled by officers from the flying branch as of now.

“This will be a role-specific cadre, so that the officers are trained for a specific role from the word go,” a senior official said. Read More



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