SOURCE: PRASAD CHAWAN FOR IDRW.ORG
Media is reporting that US aims to secure agreements with India to start pilot projects for joint production of drones, as well as equipment for transport planes in talks next week ahead of a visit by President Barack Obama.
After much Hype about possible deal on Global Hawk was denied by Us officials, New media report says that US will take joint project with India of local production of RQ-11 “Raven” Hand-held Mini-UAV built by AeroVironment Inc..
RQ-11 Raven is a small hand-launched remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (or SUAV) developed for the U.S. military, which can provide day or the night aerial intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance. Raven is also used by the military forces of many other countries.
Interestingly India’s National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) has developed mini-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) ” Slybird.” and Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) too has unveiled the hand-launched fixed-wing mini UAV Imperial Eagle.
Both Imperial Eagle and Slybird weigh about 2-2.5 kg with an endurance of 50 to 60 minutes. At about 20 knots cruise speed, they have a range of 10 km and can climb to a ceiling altitude of 300 metres. They carry gimbal-mounted daylight or infra-red camera. Both are similar to US RQ-11 Raven in performance and specification.
Both Imperial Eagle and Slybird were in the race to bag orders from Indian Army which had requirements for similar Portable handheld mini-UAV which can be deployed for tactical surveillance and ?over the hill? surveillance. It is still not clear if India has accepted US offer for Local production of RQ-11 “Raven” or its just another case of Indian Army again sidelining Local development over Imported systems.
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