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12:12 PM, July 19, 2015
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Raven surveillance UAV. Photo by Aerovironment

The Raven mini-UAV may have failed the Indian Army’s technical requirements for hand-launched spy drones to equip its infantry battalions.

Made by AeroVironment Inc. of US, the Raven was to be manufactured in India in collaboration with Bangalore based Dynamatic Technologies and rechristened as ‘Cheel’ (Hindi for Eagle).

The Cheel can provide good imagery up to an altitude of 150-metre while the Indian Army’s General Staff Qualitative requirements state a need to fly at 1000 meters, the Times of Indian reported today.

"The Army wants futuristic mini-drones, not the current-generation Raven being offered as the `Cheel' drone to the force,” it quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The Raven was one of the four "pathfinder projects" identified for co-development and co-production under the India-US Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) during the Obama-Modi summit here in January.

Subsequently, Dynamatic Technologies Limited and AeroVironment Inc. inaugurated the pilot production facility for the development of the next generation unmanned aircraft system, Cheel.

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