Scan Eagle and Hermes front running to seal the UAV deal
It's once again the Indian armed forces gearing up to buy unmanned aerial systems for it's tri services, with the proposed value of more than $3 billions under make in India program, Two UAV's American Insitu Scan Eagle and the Israeli Hermes running front to seal the deal. It's reported that Air force may stick with the Israeli systems, Navy and Army will move on with American UAV.
The UAV saga running front since the desi UAV program failed to meet armed forces requirement, The government soon process the RFI to acquire more than three thousand of UAV systems and it's associated equipment's. The Army gets low numbers Navy and Airforce gets more number of UAV's.
Under this new program, the UAV's must capable to fly more than 20 hours with the operational altitude of some 15,000 feet. The Indian airforce who loves the Israeli systems to keep rely on the Hermes UAV's which capable to meet air force requirements. The Air force is known customer of Israeli UAV's, from Heron UAV to armed drone IAI Eitan which is currently in order.
Beginning of this April, Indian company's Adani Cooperation and Alpha systems signed a contract with Israeli Elbit systems who design and manufacture Hermes 450 and 900 UAV's, to manufacture the same in India under the make in India program.
The Hermes 450 is an medium altitude and long range UAV, can capable to stay in the air for more than 20 hours, the 450 can perform observation mission with the range of 300 kilometers, by flying at the altitude of 18,000 feet.
The Hermes 900 is same like the Hermes 450 with double range and endurance than the 450. Both required a runway for autonomous take off and landing. Where the air force keen to use those new generation UAV's to keep the Air force bases and vital installations always under the bird eye view. The Hermes valued some $2M for an UAV and associated ground control systems.
Unlike the Airforce, the Army and Navy has sort of runways, so they were looking for a assisted launching capable UAV. like the Army's Nishanth UAV. Boeing's Scan eagle developed with the help of Insitu is front running to seal the deal.
Boeing's scan eagle is one of the combat proven UAV that has been used in many countries, also certified for maritime operations too, the Scan eagle can be launched by any Naval warship with the small setup in the fantail. The catapult launch system can launch the Scan Eagle and can be recovered by parachute assisted by dedicated GPS signal.
The Scan eagle capable to fly at the speed of 120 kilometers and stay in the altitude of more than 15,000 feet. The Scan eagle stay in the air for more than 24 hours. with an operational range of some 100 kilometers for effective control and communication.
The Scan eagle comes with modular payload of world's smaller Synthetic aperture radar, to provide high quality images and weather condition of the battlefield, which suits better for both land and maritime operations. A set of Scan eagle system consists of four UAV's, one launching system and a control station costs around $3.5 millions.
It's reported that India will soon to take decision of buying those UAV's to increase the surveillance of the armed forces with the high end technology. There were still another procurement left which is the battlefield UAV's for ground troops yet to be issued.