The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has given clearance to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to develop autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) that can be used for surveillance and strike capabilities to be deployed in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). for the timbering Indian Navy is likely to opt for foreign-origin AUVs till the Indigenous ones are ready for induction.

State-owned Mazagaon Dockyard Limited (MDL) recently issued an Expression of Interest (EOI) to global firms for collaboration in the Design, Development, and Construction of a 40-ton Extra Large Unmanned Undersea Vehicles (XLUUVs) that could be used for mine countermeasures, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, electronic warfare, and strike missions.

Recently, Larsen & Toubro also signed a memorandum of understanding with Bengaluru-based New Space Research & Technologies to develop and build “ submarine-launched UAVs” under the DRDO’s Technology Development Fund initiative.

Indian-developed underwater drones for surveillance purposes are already under testing and are likely to be inducted after the conclusion of their trials. Till now Navy has used underwater drones only for recording ambient noises, searching for practice torpedoes, and helping civilian agencies in keeping an eye on underwater pipelines and internet cables.

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