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01:11 PM, July 13, 2017
Indian Defense Ministry Kicks-Off Procurement For Over 5000 UAVs
Indian Defense Ministry Kicks-Off Procurement For Over 5000 UAVs

India's defense ministry has commenced $3 billion procurement plan for more than 5,000 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) over the next decade as Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) teamed up with Indian firm Dynamatic Technologies and Elcom Systems.

The Israel firm teamed up with Indian firm in a deal for production, assembly and support of UAVs in India. India needs UAVs for surveillance activities at border. They have been identified as an essential tool for the three military services, The Hindu BusinessLine reported Wednesday.

Currently the defence forces operate Israeli-made Searcher Mark I, Searcher Mark II, Heron and Herop UAVs, as well as the Indian-made Nishant.

In July 2016 in order to fill the immediate gap, the defence ministry issued a combined tri-service requirement for the acquisition of 150 medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs.

The request for information called for the UAVs to be procured under the Make in India initiative, with sources indicating the tenders would be restricted to domestic companies that teamed up with foreign firms.

The collaboration agreements “are based on the transfer of technology for the benefit of local production, as part of the Indian government’s Make in India policy,” Shalom Revivo, Director, Sales and Marketing, IAI, said.

Officials also indicated that the Indian Army proposes to equip UAVs to its battalion, while the Air Force plans to have fully operational squadrons of surveillance UAVs. The Navy, too, has a high demand for MALE and tactical UAVs.

The deal envisages creation of a UAV-manufacturing facility in India, as also a training centre to provide the requisite talent pool.

Even though the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing a variety of UAVs, sources indicated that more tenders will be floated for a variety of UAVs because of more requirements by forces.

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