India Wants Drones For Border Surveillance
With objectives to maintain a strict vigil at the Pakistan and China border over terrorist activities, the Indian Army has accepted the tender inquiries for the acquisition of 600 mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). According to the United News of India, the Army sources said the process of accepting tender inquiries was over and the technical assessment was in progress.
A total of Rs 950 crore ($143,000) will be incurred to procure the devices through “Buy Indian” in an effort to give a boost to government’s ambitious programme, ‘Make in India’.
As per sources, each infantry battalion will be allocated one mini-UAV.
Under “Buy Indian” category, the preference in government procurement will be given to local suppliers.
In the recent past, many infiltration bids from Pakistani side were made along the Line of Control. The UAVs will be procured for the infantry battalions of the Indian Army.
The move to go in for mini UAVs came after the issue was raised by the government on the need to modernize the infantry.
The Army’s proposal for mini-UAVs came after a similar move by the Directorate of Naval Air Staff, which has sought UAVs for maritime patrol use.
Recently, on the Infantry Day, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said,
“Modernisation of infantry is very much on cards and you will soon see the induction of modern weapon system, surveillance system and all that is required to support the infantry.”
In 2015, the Army had issued an additional Request for information (RFI) on Mini UAV to identify prospective Indian vendors for the procurement. Originally, the RFIs were issued in May 2012.
According to RFIs, the mini-UAV system should comprise of three Aerial Vehicle (AV) or platforms, one man pack ground control station (MPGCS), one launch and recovery systems, one remote video terminal (RVT), three complete sets of sensor package with all-weather day and Night capability, two way airborne data relay to control UAV beyond line of sight among others.
The RFI also specified that the weight should be 35 Kg.
The mission range of the UAVs should be 10 km with loiter time of 45 minutes.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm