Make in India: Indian Army to buy 125 target drones from local defence companies


Indian Army Target Drone Tender: Indian Army is seeking to buy 125 target drones annually from Indian defence companies under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious self-reliant India scheme that aims to make the country a defence powerhouse in next five years.

These target drones will be used for target practice by Indian Army’s Air Defence units. The Army is looking for Indian vendors to indigenously design and develop maneuverable expendable Target Drones that are capable of mimicking like real targets – enemy aircraft, drones and missiles.

In July, the Directorate General of Army Air Defence issued a tender for procuring 125 aerial targets, 75 for Indian Air Force and 50 for the Air Defence units of Indian Army.

Indian defence companies have time until October 5, 2020 to respond to the tender.

“The ultimate test of all crew lies in live firing of air defence weapons on simulated targets. One of the ideal targets for this requirement is a manoeuvrable expendable aerial targets,” Indian Army said in the tender document.

The target drones should be able to fly at a speed of over 400 kilometers per hour. The maximum endurance should be over 30 minutes at Wide Open Throttle at sea level. The minimum and maximum altitude should be over 20 meters while the maximum altitude should be 5 kilometers.

The target drone should have a minimum control range of 75 kilometers and capable of being employed against short range, medium range and quick reaction surface-to-sir missiles (SAM).

While India’s apex defence research organisation DRDO has developed a pilot-less target drone Lakshya, several private Indian defence companies such as Bharat Forge, Adani Defence among others are in the business of manufacturing drones.

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