Aiming to strengthen the snooping capabilities of armed forces, Defence Ministry has begun the process of procuring 95 mini-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for the Air Force (IAF) and the Navy.
While the Ministry has issued global request for proposal for procuring 95 UAVs, the Army has also come up with a global RFI for mini UAVs and is expected to issue a global tender by the end of this fiscal.
The RFP for procuring these light weight mini-UAVs was issued by the ministry last fortnight for which a number of Indian and foreign manufacturers are expected to respond, sources said here.Of the 95 UAVs planned to be procured, 60 would be given to the IAF while the remaining would be provided to the Navy for deployment in their respective areas of operations, they said.
The Ministry has stressed that the weight of the mini-UAV without its payload should not be more than 2.5 kg and its total operational kit should not weigh more than 15 kg.
The armed forces want the weight of the all-weather mini-UAV to be light so that they are able to be operated by a single soldier also.
All the three services are now operating their Israeli Searcher and Heron UAVs. The IAF has placed orders for loitering UAVs and ammunition called HAROP from Israel and the Army has plans of placing orders for more such munitions.
The DRDO has also been working on developing High Altitude Long Range combat UAVs along with the RUSTOM programme for developing medium range UAVs.