Indian defence ministry plans to equip all army battalions with new squad of mini-UAVs 21403164

Defence & Security News - India
Indian defence ministry plans to equip all army battalions with new squad of mini-UAVs
The Indian defence ministry is set to clear a country's army proposal to equip all infantry and mechanised battalions with a new squad of mini-unmanned aerial vehicles for deeper insights into the battlefield. According to the local daily Economic Times, while the UAVs will have a limited range of 10 km, they would provide vital intelligence for ground troops.
Indian defence ministry plans to equip all army battalions with new squad of mini UAVs 640 001India's defence ministry plans to buy up to 1,800 new UAS Here the BlueBird Aero Systems' Spylite mini-UAS.
A proposal to purchase 1,800 mini-UAVs, along with ground systems and support, is likely to get the goahead at a defence ministry meeting this week, followed by approval by the defence acquisition committee, senior officials told the Economic Times.

The planned purchase will also boost the private industry as it will be categorised as a 'Make in India' project, with the potential of orders increasing exponentially over the next few years. Officials said the plan is to raise 600 UAV squads - each consisting of three 'birds', a ground control system and a heavy vehicle.

These squads will be attached to all infantry and armoured battalions of the Indian Army, which currently rely on information from other units that operate longerrange UAVs such as the Heron and Searcher of Israeli origin. Infantry battalions posted in conflict zones do occasionally purchase and operate mini UAVs, but they are not yet part of standard equipment.

Following the defence ministry's clearance, the army is set to float tenders for the UAVs. At least a dozen Indian companies a re expected to bid for the contract and several of them have tied up with foreign vendors for technology transfer.

The move to have competitive trials for the mini-UAV project has also thrown questions on an Indo-US project that was cleared at the political level. The high-profile Defence Trade and Technology Initiative, which was even discussed between PM Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama, included an understanding that US firm AeroVironment would tie up with Bengaluru-basedDynamatic Technologies to develop a new light UAV for tactical reconnaissance for the army.

The Indian army is looking for UAVs with a range of at least 10 km at a complete system weight of less than 35 kg. The mini-UAV would need to give remote video feed with allweather capability and loiter time of 45 minutes.

(Source: Economic Times)


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