Indian Navy developing new generation UAV
New Delhi (PTI): The Indian Navy is working on a 'path breaking' project to develop a new generation and longer-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to have deeper penetration in data collection and reconnaissance mechanism. The rotary wing UAV, designed like a helicopter and to be built jointly by Navy and the state-run aerospace major Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is expected to transform naval warfare.
"We are working with HAL to develop a new generation UAV on a helicopter platform. It will be a path breaking initiative and transform naval warfare," Navy Chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta said on the sidelines of a function here.
He said the UAV's payload bay will carry sophisticated art reconnaissance equipment, maritime patrol sensors and data transmitters to enable it to record images in enemy territory and transmit them back to naval bases.
HAL Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Baweja said funding and sanction for the project are already getting into place and it will be started soon. "We have finalised the concept. The project clearance is on the way. We will start it shortly," he told PTI after the function on Wednesday.
Asked about involvement of any foreign company in the project, Baweja said the HAL has already identified the foreign partner for the project but did not divulge further details.
"We have already identified the foreign partner. We will require their help in the project as there are certain inputs that we will need," he said. He said the payloads of the UAV, apart from surveillance equipment, will include larger fuel packs for longer endurance.