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India launching combat drone program to keep an eye on Pakistan

06:03 PM | 14 Dec, 2015
India launching combat drone program to keep an eye on Pakistan
NEW DELHI (Online) - Keeping an eye on arch rival Pakistan, India is set to launch its own combat drones or UCAVs (unmanned combat aerial vehicles) with features that will allow the air vehicles to fire missiles at enemies and then return to the home base to re-arm.

According to reports in Indian media, the Indian government is close to approving Project Ghatak, worth INR26,500 million in order to develop the futuristic “Indian Unmanned Strike Air Vehicle” which has already been cleared by the country’s defence ministry.

Read more: Tokyo police to launch Drone Squad

“The project is now being evaluated by an expert committee set up by the finance ministry. Once approved, Project Ghatak will be placed before the cabinet committee on security for the final nod,” the source added.

Sources further revealed that Ghatak which was an initiative of the Aeronautical Development Agency-DRDO, is likely to take at least a decade to become fully-operational.

“The UCAV will weigh less than a fighter jet since it will be more of a flying-wing in design,” the source stated.

Further, the UCAV which is considered to be one of the game-changers in modern day warfare, will be powered by a 52-kilo-newton dry variant.

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Along with UCAVs, the Indian government has allowed the upgrade of some of the existing Indian fleet of Israeli Heron and Searcher-II UAVs for the vehicles to be able to outdo their current surveillance and precision-targeting roles in combat missions.

According to reports, drones such as the ‘Predator’ and ‘Reaper’, controlled from the United States through satellites, have been time and again to fire missiles, targeting Taliban in the Pak-Afghan region.

Indian armed forces wish to instate a greater variety of drones including hand-launched and full-fledged UCAVs, at least 598 mini-UAVs in order to ensure ‘battlefield transparency’ and ‘beyond the hill surveillance’ in a 10-km radius for its infantry soldiers.

The writer is a member of the staff.

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PKR exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 21 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 21, 2024 (Wednesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.6 for buying and 282.4 for selling.

Euro comes down to 300 for buying and 303 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 350.5 for buying, and 354 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.15 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 21 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.6 282.4
Euro EUR 300 303
UK Pound Sterling GBP 350.5 354
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.15 76.9
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.32 751.32
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 902.41 911.41
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.96 733.96
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 316.9 319.4
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08

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