NEW DELHI: In continuation with its steps to strengthen intelligence and surveillance systems along the Line of Actual Control, the Indian Army on Monday signed a contract with local manufacturers for the supply of tethered drone systems and tank driving simulators.
The Indian Army in a message on X (formerly Twitter) confirmed the signing of a contract for the procurement of 130 tethered drones and 19 tank-driving simulators. “The induction of the new equipment will enhance the overall operational preparedness of the Army,” said the force.
#CapabilityDevelopment#IndianArmy has signed the contract for procurement of 130 Tethered Drones and 19 Tank Driving Simulators. The induction of such new equipment will enhance the overall operational preparedness of the #IndianArmy.#IndianArmy#OnPathToTransformation pic.twitter.com/USJnZa8L9N— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) August 25, 2023
Sources said the contract for the drone system for long-distance surveillance and intelligence gathering along the borders was signed with indigenous company Newspace Research Technologies Private Ltd. The contract for the other equipment was signed with Zen Technologies Limited, which will also involve skill development.
The Request for Technical and Commercial Proposals for the drones was issued by the armored branch of the Integrated Headquarters of the Ministry of Defence in January this year, under the fast-track procedure.
As per the RFI, these systems are sought to fly not less than six hours in tethered mode and around 45 minutes in un-tethered mode. These drones are connected to a ground-based tethered system with a flexible wire or cable for power and communications and can provide surveillance of beyond-line-of-sight targets for a prolonged period.
The Fast Track Procedure, as per the Defence Acquisition Procedure, involves “cases where expeditious procurement for urgent operational requirements foreseen as imminent or for situations in which a crisis emerges without a prior warning, or where undue/unforeseen delay due to reasons beyond the control of the acquisition setup, are seen to be impacting the capacity of the Forces, may be recommended by Service Headquarters for pursuance of FTP.”
Tethered drone systems are ideal for extended surveillance and security overwatch missions such as border control. Traditional drones have a greater range allowing them to perform missions the sensor cannot capture from a distance.