New Delhi: Indian fighter jets will soon be equipped with digital maps to help pilots avoid losing directions, said a top official from the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a premier aerospace and defence manufacturer.
“Now no pilot will cross the border by mistake. They won’t lose the way like Group Captain Abhinandan. No pilot will have a manual map anymore as the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has prepared a digital map for the pilots,” said DK Sunil, director, Engineering and R&D, HAL.
Group Captain Abhinandan Varthaman, then a Wing Commander, was captured by Pakistani forces after he ejected from his MiG-21, which went down after striking an enemy jet during the 2019 Balakot airstrikes. He was returned three days later.
In such combat situations, digital maps are expected to help pilots avoid losing directions and stay within boundaries, the defence manufacturer expects. The process is already underway to equip the Indian fighter jets with the latest digital maps.
Pilots will be able to check the map on their cockpit display while flying and this will aid the navigation, Mr Sunil told NDTV.
“The map will be available in 2D and 3D. Pilots will be alerted in advance if they are in a hilly area. This will reduce the possibility of accidents in high hilly areas. The digital map will also tell about enemy military bases and air defence systems,” he added.
The digital maps are designed and produced in India in a boost to self-reliance in the defence sector.
They are being installed in all fighter jets, he said, adding that very few countries in the world have been able to make such maps themselves.”We will fit these on every aircraft. All its hardware and software have been made in the country. Earlier, these maps used to be made in abroad only, but not we have started manufacturing them,” said Mr Sunil.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Kashmir Monitor staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)