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18th April 2022 (6 Topics)

China deploying UAVs near LAC

Context

  • China continues to expand its intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities and logistics support (ISTAR) close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Background

  • China is increasingly deploying its advanced UAVs in Tibet close to the LAC.
  • UAVs were originally developed through the 20th century for military missions too "dull, dirty or dangerous” for humans.
  • By the 21st century, they had become essential assets to most militaries. As control technologies improved and costs fell, their use expanded to many non-military application.
  • Since the stand-off between Indian troops and People’s Liberation Army in Tibet in 2020, china is increasing its interference and technological advancement in the region.
  • They use UAVs for patrolling, and activities like supplying food, medicines, vaccines in the high Altitude areas to their army and villages.

What ARE UAVs?

  • It is known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or ‘Drones’, is an aircraft without any human pilot, crew, or passengers on board.
    • UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which includes adding a ground-based controller and a system of communications with the UAV.
  • The term unmanned aircraft system (UAS) was adopted by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2005 according to their Unmanned Aircraft System Roadmap.

Significance of UAVs

  • Military purpose: With extensive cost reductions and advancements in the UAVs technology, the defense forces around the globe are increasingly using these for various applications such as surveillance, logistics, communication, attack and combat.
  • For Aerial photography: Drones are ideally suited to capturing aerial shots in photography and cinematography, and are widely used for this purpose.
  • Small drones avoid the need for precise coordination between pilot and cameraman, with the same person taking on both roles.
  • Agriculture and forestry: Agricultural drones have been used in areas such as Africa to help build sustainable agriculture.
  • It helps detect and fight wildfires, whether through observation or launching pyrotechnic devices to start backfires.
  • Law enforcement: Police can use drones for applications such as search and rescue and traffic monitoring.

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