The Indian Army has a formally kicked off a $ 670 million mega purchase plan of short-range UAVs for deployment in the difficult Himalayan terrain to keep tabs on the slightest of movement by foreign forces.
The UAVs will send real-time inputs in the form of imagery and electronic data with a range of 200 kilometers. These UAVs would be able to fly with an altitude of up to 15,000 feet and can send inputs to fighting formations during operations for at least 10 hours.
The system can be equipped with different kinds of surveillance payloads, such as radar, maritime patrol radar, radio relay, identification of a friend or foe, and traffic collision avoidance systems. The total price is about 60 short-range remotely piloted aircraft system the army plans to induct 24 platforms by 2022 while the rest will be delivered by 2027 by the manufacturer.
The purchase plan was approved by India’s defense ministry in June of this year. Though the RFI has been exclusively issued to the Indian manufacturers, the short deadline, and unavailability of the indigenous technology.
“A five-year timeline is provided in the acquisition process,” said Rahul Bhonsle, retired, Indian Army brigadier, and defense analyst.