According to Defense News, India is willing to carry out a wide procurement programme regarding the UAV systems. The initiative assumes that even 5000 drones are going to be acquired in the period of a decade. The whole acquisition is going to be covered with an amount of USD 3 billion.
All classes of the UAV systems are expected to be acquired, ranging from heavy HALE and MALE airframes, through tactical systems, finishing with mini and micro UAVs. Polish WB Electronics Group created an offer including the mini-class FlyEye UAV system. FlyEye UAV is already being operated by the Polish Army. The initial information regarding the Indian procurement emerged last year. The offer still stands.
The Polish system is being offered for the Indian Army in collaboration with the local Kadet Defence Systems company. We know that the Indian authorities place a significant emphasis on creation of the domestic industrial potential, within the process of modernization of the Armed Forces. According to the reports published by AIN Online, procurement of the UAV systems by the New Delhi authorities is going to involve a probable significant technology transfer, with know-how being received by the domestic partner.
The available information suggests that procurement of several hundred examples of the mini-class UAV systems is being thoroughly considered. We know that no decision as to the selection of the offer has been made until the present day. Besides the FlyEye platform, India is also considering the Elbit Systems Skylark UAV, Cheel UAV manufactured by AeroVironment or Orbiter UAV, produced by the Aeronautics Defense Systems company. In any case, the foreign contractor is being supported by a domestic partner.
Defense News quotes a representative of the Indian Ministry of Defence, noting the significance of the private industrial entities involvement in the UAV fleet modernization programme. The involvement is going to be expanded, in comparison with the previous procurement programmes in the field. FlyEye UAV systems are being used by the Polish Army, as well as by the Polish Border Guard.