Indian Army signs deals for 130 tethered drones; 19 tank driving simulators

The Indian Army has signed contracts for the procurement of 130 tethered drones and 19 tank-driving simulators under Emergency Procurement (EP).

The induction of such new equipment will enhance the overall operational preparedness.

Both of the mentioned defence equipment are slated to be delivered in 12 months.

The long-endurance tether drone systems are contracted at an approximate value of Rs 250 crore and can be used in high-altitude areas.

Earlier, a Request for Technical and Commercial Proposals for the drones was issued by the armoured 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.

Further, 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.

As per the sources, the contract for the tethered drone system for long-distance surveillance and intelligence gathering along the borders was signed with Newspace Research Technologies Private Ltd.

While, the contract for the other equipment – 19 tank driving simulators – was signed with Zen Technologies Limited, which will also involve skill development.

Noteworthy, the armed forces are currently executing the fourth tranche of EPs sanctioned by the Defence Ministry.

Emergency financial powers were granted to the armed forces under which they could procure weapons systems up to Rs 300 crore, on an “urgent basis without any further clearances to cut short the procurement cycle”.