Northrop-Grumman has made multiple presentations to the Indian Navy explaining why the IAI-HAL Naval Rotory UAV (NRUAV) based on the Chetak airframe is a bad idea. Remember, the NRUAV is a programme that has considerable Indian investment, not to mention a fully Indian-built helicopter airframe. I heard from a couple of my sources in the Navy that the Americans were making a powerful pitch against the NRUAV, so I sent NG an e-mail a few days ago.
Mike Fuqua, Northrop's Business Development Director (Tactical Unmanned Systems) replied, "Northrop Grumman is aware of the initiative announced by the Indian Government regarding NRUAV. However, we are convinced that once the issues of complexity, capability, maturity and reliability are evaluated, the Indian Navy will recognize that Fire Scout will provide the best, most cost effective, and most rapid VTUAV capability for their forces at sea."
The NRUAV is currently in its trial stage, and is still some way off from sea trials. However, the Indian Navy has fully backed the programme and has invested in it as well. At the same time, Fuqua said, "The Indian Navy has shown interest in the Fire Scout VTUAV and Northrop Grumman has been engaged with the Indian Navy to discuss capabilities. We have provided briefings and answered questions from the highest level of the Indian Navy, at their request."
More on the NRUAV in a bit.
Labels: Aircraft And Helicopters, HAL, Israel-Related, Navy, UAV, UNITED STATES-RELATED