IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st September, 2023 Security

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  • The first visuals of the Polish Warmate loitering drones in the possession of the Indian Army have surfaced.

Loitering Munition

  • A loitering munition (also known as a suicide drone, kamikaze drone, or exploding drone) is a kind of aerial weapon with a built-in munition (warhead), which can loiter (wait passively) around the target area until a target is located; it then attacks the target by crashing into it.
  • Loitering munitions enable faster reaction times against hidden targets that emerge for short periods without placing high-value platforms near the target area, and also allow more selective targeting as the attack can be changed midflight or aborted.
  • Loitering weapons first emerged in the 1980s for use in the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) role against surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and were deployed in that role with a number of military forces in the 1990s.
  • Over the last decade, loitering munitions have become assets for future battlefields. Their adaptable nature permits transport by land or special forces, enabling installation on vehicles and integration with onboard systems.

Polish Warmate loitering drones

  • The loitering munitions system, known for its lightweight design and versatile mission capabilities, is among the newest loitering munitions that have been inducted into the Indian armed forces.
  • The Warmate, as per Grupa WB, operates within a range of 30 km via line-of-sight (LOS).
  • It can reach speeds of 80 km/h powered by an electric motor.
  • The drone has a wingspan of 1.6 m, a fuselage length of 1.1 m, and a maximum take-off weight of 5.7 kg.
  • Operating at altitudes ranging from 150 to 300 m above mean sea level, the system supports various warhead types, including High Explosive and Thermobaric.
  • It achieves a maximum attack speed of 150 km/h. Its autonomy and real-time capabilities stem from integrated control modules and surveillance subsystems, while the operator retains control and responsibility for combat task execution.

The recent emergence of Suicide Drones

  • Since the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the Russia-Ukraine war, kamikaze drones have emerged as the dark horse of modern warfare. They are cost-effective and capable of precision strikes, crippling enemies.
  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict debunked notions of swift wars.
  • The relevance of hard power is reaffirmed; victory remains land-centric.
  • India must address border legacies and embrace 'grey-zone aggression'. The lessons include preparing for prolonged conflict, reducing import reliance, and focusing on indigenous defence and technology. Loitering munitions and drones democratise air warfare.


Q. Consider the following statements:

1.A loitering munition is same as a suicide drone.

2.Polish Warmate loitering drones operate within a range of 30 km via line-of-sight (LOS).

3.Polish Warmate loitering drones achieve a maximum attack speed of 150 km/h.

4.Polish Warmate loitering drones operate at altitudes ranging from 150 to 300 m above mean sea level.

How many of the above are correct?

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) Only 3

D) All

Answer: D) All