IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


31st August, 2023 Security

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  • The Indian Army signed a contract with local manufacturers for the supply of tethered drone systems and tank driving simulators.


  • To strengthen intelligence and surveillance systems along the Line of Actual Control.

What are Tethered Drones?

  • Tethered drones are unmanned aerial vehicles physically connected to a power station on the ground.
  • It consists of a base station on the ground and the drone, which is connected to the station through the tether (cable). The drone can be operated remotely to perform specific tasks.

Benefits of Using Tethered Drones

  • Drone crashes do occur and are often due to technical or human error. However, tethered drones dramatically reduce technical and human error crashes in flight.
  • A tethered UAS has a reduced spatial area where it can fly.
  • Because of the flying restrictions the tether creates, and their greater control, their operation does not require a trained pilot.
  • It also does not require GPS navigation, which significantly contributes to reducing any technical errors that lead to drones crashing.
  • Flight duration is where they excel. Many tethered drones have longer flight times compared to free-flying, battery-operated drones.
  • Free-flying drones have an average flight time of twenty minutes on a single, full charge. Most tethered drones have an unlimited flight time and can stay afloat until a problem occurs within the grounded power source, such as a motor or propeller failing.
  • Another benefit of tethered drones is providing more explicit pictures.
  • Free-flying drones require a lot of skill and several hours of practice to operate efficiently.
  • Due to the restricted movement of a tethered drone, the operator does not need piloting skills and can mainly focus on their tasks. In addition, the tether stabilizes drone movement, which enables photographers to capture clear photos and videos; this is especially helpful.


  • Tethered drones can be used for various applications, although most of them are focused on aerial observation and telecommunications.
  • In particular, tethered UAVs are perfect for data capture and telemetry due to the reliability of tethered connections.
  • In particular, this technology is ideally suited for border security and Forward Operating Base (FOB) protection. Indeed, tethered drones can operate in most climates, monitoring the camp’s perimeter and tracking enemy movements.
  • The most common use of tethered quadcopters is to provide a persistent surveillance capability for situational awareness.
  • Military tethered drones are used for ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), disaster response, event management and security, traffic monitoring and a variety of other applications. Data transmitted via fibre optic drone tether has the advantage of being more secure as it is less susceptible to interference than wireless signals, and cannot be jammed like RF signals.
  • Powerline tethered drones are also used as part of long-range communications relays to create temporary networks for cellular, radio and broadband internet signals.


  • The induction of the new equipment will enhance the overall operational preparedness of the Army.


Q. Consider the following statements with reference to Tethered Drones:

1.Powerline-tethered drones cannot be used as part of long-range communications relays.

2.The operation of Tethered Drones does not require a trained pilot.

3.Tethered drones do not crash at all since they are physically connected to a power station on the ground.

How many of the above are correctly matched?

A) Only 1

B) Only 2

C) All 3

D) None

Answer: A) Only 1.

Statement 2 is correct.