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India’s quest for self-reliance in defense has reached a crucial juncture. The Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAV program, specifically the Archer and Tapas projects, has seen delays. To bridge this gap and expedite MALE UAV development, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) should consider transferring its technology (ToT) to qualified Indian private sector companies.

Private companies bring agility and a market-driven approach. DRDO’s expertise lies in fundamental research. Sharing knowledge allows private firms to leverage existing technology, accelerating the MALE UAV development cycle.

While Competition fosters innovation and cost optimization. Private companies can potentially develop MALE UAVs faster and at a lower cost compared to traditional government-led projects. A robust private sector participation strengthens India’s defence manufacturing base. This fosters a self-reliant ecosystem, reducing dependence on foreign suppliers.

Companies won’t need to reinvent the wheel. DRDO’s expertise in areas like flight control systems and communication technologies can be a springboard for further innovation. The program fosters a skilled workforce within the private sector. This expertise can be utilized for future MALE UAV development and modernization.

A competitive domestic MALE UAV industry can target exports. This not only generates revenue but also enhances India’s strategic footprint in the global arms market.

Sharing MALE UAV technology with the Indian private sector is a strategic move. It has the potential to not only expedite development but also create a robust domestic defence industry. By embracing this approach, India can not only meet its own military needs but also emerge as a major player in the global MALE UAV market.

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Article by DEEPAK HILORI ,  cannot be republished Partially or Full without consent from Writer or