New Delhi: To enhance its unmanned warfare capability, the defence ministry has given a nod to acquire 54 HAROP attack drones from Israel.

This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is very effective in combat, looks straight from the star trek series. HAROP is little different from usual the drones as it doesn’t deliver a rocket or bomb, but becomes a munition once it reaches the target.

Here are some features of the HAROP

1. These are among the deadliest UAVs around the world as they can load 20-kilogram ammunition and are very accurate. They can remain in the air for about six hours, which makes it very efficient during combat.

2. What makes HAROP a top pick is its capability to be launched from a truck or ship-mounted canister. It can also be configured for an air-launch.

3. Once the UAV is in the air, it can be operated by man-in-the-loop control or it can go about its mission totally autonomously. It can use its warhead fitted with a camera system to track and engage moving targets.

4. It also has a radiation-seeker to sniff out and attack radar sites on its own.

5. It can be equipped to return home autonomously and land once its fuel runs low.

The Indian Air Force already has an inventory of these drones, which are equipped with electro-optical sensors to loiter over high-value military targets such as surveillance bases and radar stations before exploding them.

The forces are also working on developing indigenous combat drones, which would be deployed on both the China and Pakistan border once the project is completed.

Americans have been using the combat drones to carry out targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. However, their relatively slow unmanned vehicles are not known to be very effective in warfare, where the opposition also has a strong air force.