Secret negotiations take place in battle for Indian UAS contracts

The huge market potential for unmanned air systems (UASs) in India is changing the landscape. Indian companies – not just in the aerospace and defence business – are seeking to invest in the sector in an attempt to win a chunk of the Indian defence modernisation budget, which is already big and will only get bigger.

With an expected tender for at least 500 mini UASs, financial investors in India are running at full blast in their hunt for business opportunities.

In recent weeks, Indian pharmaceutical giant Piramal Healthcare held a round of secret talks with some of the Israeli manufacturers planning to bid for the contract.

Sources in Israel said that, through its US subsidiary, Piramal discussed a possible investment in one of the Israeli companies. The sources said nothing has been concluded.

Israeli sources said Piramal plans to establish a defence subsidiary and this may lead to more potential investments in Israeli companies.

The planned Indian tender will include 500 mini and micro UASs with an endurance of at least 30 minutes and operation by one or two soldiers.

The major Israeli unmanned air vehicle (UAV) manufacturers are making preparations to team up with local Indian companies as the release of the request for quotations for mini and micro UASs for the Indian army approaches.

Isarel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has a very strong foothold in the Indian defence establishment and will probably offer one or more of its small UAVs directly. Elbit Systems is looking for a local partner, as is Aeronautics.

These companies did not disclose their efforts, but BlueBird – one of the smaller UAV manufacturers – has already finalised an agreement to team up with India’s Dynamatic Technologies.

Indian companies in different sectors have identified the market’s potential and are trying to make sure they get on the train that could carry them to the huge budgets.

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One Response to Secret negotiations take place in battle for Indian UAS contracts

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