It's a programme the Indian Navy wants quick movement on, exasperated in many ways by how no single effort over years to give its ships a tactical deck-launched/recovered unmanned surveillance capability have delivered a result. The navy now has a stated requirement of at least 50 such UAS. And the field is open -- the navy doesn't say what kind of launch of recovery it is looking for, leaving all such details to interested contenders.
Boeing firm Insitu, which has had preliminary conversations about the ScanEagle with India for a few years now, continues with the pitch. Insitu's business development manager for Asia-Pacific, Kevil Giles made the following presentation at a round-table that Livefist was invited to, information presumably shared with the Indian Navy over the months as well (post continues after the PDF):
A prospective competition could include the Airbus Tanan and Textron Aerosonde as well. The Indian Navy tested the Schiebel S-100 Camcopter from the deck of patrol vessel INS Sujata in 2007, though the effort didn't yield an acquisition.
According to the Indian Navy's request for information from global vendors, it needs the new UAVs for "Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), sea-lanes of communication monitoring and coastal/ EEZ surveillance, anti-¬piracy and anti¬terrorism, assistance in search and rescue and assistance in maritime domain awareness."
Labels: Aero India, LiveFist Exclusive, Navy, UAV