SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Later this year, the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) plans to introduce the Archer-NG MALE UAV, which will include a Single Engine Twin Boom (SETB). The Indian Navy is also contemplating collaborating on the program to build a Maritime variant of the UAV that can be utilized for reconnaissance, surveillance, intelligence gathering, and targeted strikes abroad.
The Navy sees the Archer-NG as a significant enhancement to its capabilities, as the maritime variant will enable the deployment of slow-moving reconnaissance and missile-equipped drones.
General Atomics, a US company, has provided the Navy with two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones, which are not equipped with weapons. Moreover, India is currently in the final stages of talks with the US to acquire 18 MQ-9B Predator drones that are armed.
The Indian Navy had to reduce its demand for MQ-9B Predator drones because of their exorbitant procurement expenses. Nevertheless, the Navy still has a significant need to supervise its expansive coastlines, which is why it is presently scrutinizing Archer-NG as a potential solution for its requirements.
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