After awarding orders worth crores to Indian private start-up companies for swarm and cargo drones including for the anti-drone technologies, a panel formed by the Government of India is looking into requests made by several private sector companies that may allow companies to enter High or Medium Altitude Long Endurance (HALE or MALE) class of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program that till now as being exclusively remained with the public sector companies in the country.

Many Private companies in recent times have tied up with International vendors to provide locally manufactured UAVs for the Indian armed forces but as per defense sources close to, GOI along with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is planning to encourage homegrown development of UAVs to meet the requirements of Indian Armed force including combat drones that will have larger locally developed systems and are not of foreign origin.

GOI and MOD Panels believes that most of the technologies required for developing a fleet of MALE and HALE Class UAVs already exists in the country and access to the technology to the private companies through Transfer of Technology (ToT) will come as a major boost to the non-existing locally manufactured UAVs in the country that still depends on imported UAVs from Israel and the United States for its security needs.

Larsen & Toubro, Tata Advanced Systems, and NewSpace have proposed several UAV programs that could get a central nod in the next few years including some of the ambitious programs like that of the Unmanned wingman concept and solar-electric stratospheric Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) system. Clearance for the development of Smaller Kamakazi suicide drones is already underway and development is progressing well.

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