Armed Robots and India’s Robotic Doctrine

Sandarbha Desk
Sandarbha Desk
Source: Indian Defence Forum

Armed Robots

  • Artificially intelligent weapon system.
  • Can function in air, on the surface, in space and also under the water.
  • Can be autonomous or remote controlled.
  • Example: Drones (flying robots), Killer Robots (on the ground), Submarine Robots ( autonomous underwater vehicles).
  • Can take the decision to even kill a human being.
  • Have the power to decide to fire or not.

Indian Armed Robots

  1. The Future Soldier Program: 
  • It was earlier known as F-INSAS (Future Infantry Soldier as a System). The project was conceived in 2005.
  • It is Indian Army’s two-phased program to make Indian soldiers the most fiercely equipped soldiers in the world.
  • Phase 1:They will be equipped with advanced weaponry, communication network and instant access to information on the battleground like:
  • Non-flammable and bullet-proof jackets to carry extra load and resist nuclear, chemical and radiological warfare.
  • Digital and nuclear computer with headsets and under-barrel grenades all integrated for every infantry for Close Quarter Battle.
  • Magazines with an electronic jacket which include radio, GPS, cables and a climate cooling system.
  • GPS firing system to allow to fire grenades indirectly and automatically.
  • Lightweight camouflages to reduce their weight by 50%.
  • Bullet-proof helmets and night goggles.
  • Instant access to information on the battlefield via a new communication system.
  • Thermal sensors.
  • Guns with laser targets, armours.
  • Flexible water bottle, fire-proof knee and elbow pads.
  • The uniform will be fitted with internal and external oxygen supply.
  • Phase 2: Battlefield Management Systems
  • A palmtop for GPS, USB 2.0 and jammers to act as a decoy and help friendly soldiers for individual location.
  • They will be equipped with world’s most advanced satellite phones, thermal imager, Integrated Multifunction Sight Device Night Vision Equipment, Laser-Range Finder, Digital Magnetic Compass, Colour Charge-Coupled-Device (CCD) Camera, Integrated Electro-Optical Surveillance, Fire Control Systems and advanced GPS receivers.
  • They will also be carrying infrared sensors, electro-optical sensors, thermal sensors, spectroscopic sensors, electromagnetic and radio frequency sensors.
  • The entire technology is weatherproof and all-terrain tested.

2. INSAS- Indian Small Arms System:

  • It is a family of arms for the infantry and consists of an assault rifle and a light machine gun.


  • It is a Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV).
  • It is being developed by DRDO’s Ahmednagar-based Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE).


  • Armed robot.
  • It is a remotely operated vehicle developed by DRDO.
  • Fully automated.
  • It has been designed for use in urban counter-terrorism.
  • It is battery operated.
  • It can climb stairs and can negotiate turns on the stairs.
  • It can lift objects.
  • It can diffuse bombs.
  • It has a portable X-ray device to scan suspicious objects.
  • It can break open a door using a shotgun.

Indian Armed Forces’ Robotic Doctrine

  • Future war is unlikely to be a conventional war. It is going to be non-conventional asymmetric war.
  • It will be prolonged, will take place in various kinds of terrain and in extreme weather conditions.
  • It will be covert and the warfare is likely to be extended into built-up townships.
  • To counter this, the Government of India has decided to develop robotic soldiers. They will be placed to increase India’s unmanned capability.
  • Robotic soldiers will have a higher level of intelligence.
  • It should be able to understand the threat, differentiate between a friend and an enemy and to take necessary steps to counter the threat.
  • They will be employed in non-conventional war.
  • They will be able to handle guns and to function in nuclear, biological and chemical environment.
  • They will be expert in handling urban warfare.

The Doctrine

  1. Induct more machines.
  2. Use robots in dangerous areas.
  3. Do not risk human lives when the same task can be done by a robot.
  4. India’s future plan is to develop a robotic army by 2020 which will be able to undertake the desired task.
  5. India wants to develop robots ranging from micro size to huge tank size robots.
  6. Specialist robots will be developed for urban warfare.
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