Valedictory Ceremony Of First Basic RPAS Course (Internal Pilots and Observers) graduated from Combat Army Aviation Training School on 11 Jan 2022. RPA Pilot Wings i.e. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Wings were awarded by Lt Gen AK Suri, DG & Col Comdt Army Aviation Corps. CATS is a premier institution on Rotary Wing platforms & UAVs.
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Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)/ Drone Pilot; remotely controls Drone/ Unmanned Arial Vehicle (UAV) which is a flying robot and can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS.
UAVs have become increasingly more sophisticated, and the term UAV has been changed to UAS, an acronym for Unmanned Aircraft System. The armed forces have identified the need for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) and Systems in the ministry of defence. Indian Army has begun a new chapter as it inducted its Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS), initially manned by its Artillery Regiment crew, into the Army Aviation Wing.
Long before the current thought process of “joint-ness”, School of Artillery forged the way ahead from the first indigenous RPAS course in 2004, to the first Tri-Services RPAS course in the year 2019 and the All-Arms Courses for Army Aviation and the Corps of Intelligence (2019 onwards), to be trained as RPAS crew. The RPA system has matured over the years and has become a potent surveillance platform, an indispensable tool for successful planning and execution of operations by commanders at all levels. RPAS has ushered a new dimension to the surveillance edge and has come a long way from the early days and yet there is a lot to be accomplished. We are in midst of a change and the system which has been a way of life and passion for many UAViators in Artillery would be passed on to Indian Army Aviation with a conviction that what the current crew and their predecessors had toiled hard for, and what was so lovingly, with passion, nurtured, would flourish and emerge as the cutting edge of military operations in future.
The training of the first-ever RPAS group happened in Israel in 1998 and subsequently, the pilots of the system, under the Artillery Regiment, achieved many successes in terms of operations and inspired successive pilots of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
“It was due to the very nature of the equipment that these machines and its crew have silently been the ‘Eye-in-the-Sky’, in the true spirit of Intelligence and Surveillance gathering,” said a defence official.
The RPAS and its operating crew were inducted into the Army Aviation Wing. Indian Artillery Officers, who had been crew to this system, and who for years had nurtured the passion for flying these magnificent machines, would also step into the folds of the Army Aviation along with their aircraft.
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