India developing unmanned vehicle for bioweapon disposal

The Indian Defense Research and Development Organization is currently developing an ambitious unmanned vehicle program to meet the requirements of various tasks, including the safe handling and disposal of chemical and biological weapons, explosive devices and surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

The use of unmanned ground vehicles has acquired greater significance in counter-insurgency, urban and jungle warfare situations, and the Indian army is looking for UGV’s that could potentially be in service for the next decade, according to

"We are in discussion with the Army to finalize the UGV program soon," S. Sundaresh, a DRDO scientist and chief controller of armament combat engineering and services interaction, said, reports. "The ongoing efforts of four DRDO laboratories, including Pune's Research and Development Establishment (R&DE - Engineers), which are into developing various systems for UGVs, will be combined for rolling out products specified by the Army.”

Key DRDO laboratories, such as the one in Pune, have branched out into more advanced robotic and artificial intelligence systems. They were previously known for making bridges and mine-laying and clearance equipment.

"A UGV for nuclear biological and chemical surveillance operations is under development at VRDE, Ahmednagar, and will be ready for trials in a year,” Sundaresh said, according to “This equipment, which will be mounted on a Tata 104 vehicle and fitted with all sensors, can be remotely controlled to go into an NBC-affected area in a range of up to 5 km and measure and mark level of radiation for clean up exercise."