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Posted at: Nov 17, 2017, 1:29 AM; last updated: Nov 17, 2017, 1:29 AM (IST)

Army eyes 60 high-end drones

Border surveillance

  • The Army plans to deploy these UAVs along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and in counter-terrorism operations
  • The drones must be able to fly up to 20,000 feet for 10 hours at a stretch within a radius of 200 km from ground station, transmitting images and videos
  • These will be locally produced and only Indian companies will be allowed to bid. The drones will be inducted within two years of signing the deal
Army eyes 60 high-end drones

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 16

With an eye on ramping up surveillance capabilities, the Indian Army is looking to purchase 60 specialised unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) that can stay in the air for 10 hours at a stretch, transmitting live images and videos to ground-based controllers.

These will be useful in tracking movements along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, strengthening surveillance along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, in counter-terrorism grid and key operational areas of Corps mandated in plains and deserts.

The Army today issued a request for information (RFI) — the first step for purchase — and said the UAV should be developed and manufactured locally. Only Indian companies can bid and the Army wants these inducted within two years of signing a contract.

The project will be based on proven or matured technologies where fundamental research is not required. The development and manufacture of the equipment may also be undertaken by the Indian industry, the Army demand says.

The intended use is for day and night aerial surveillance of a large area over a sustained period. The UAV should be able to fly up to 20,000 feet, broadly covering all areas along the Himalayas, within a radius of 200 km from the ground station for minimum 10 hours.

The UAV must have electro-optical and infra red (IR) capacities with the ability to listen in to communications. It must also have a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) for imagery during adverse weather conditions and a maritime patrol radar (MPR). During flight, it should be able to identify a “friend or foe”, the requirement says.

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