India's growing market for unmanned air systems has attracted the attention of Israeli manufacturer Elbit Systems, which has announced its intention to offer its products for several emerging tenders.
"So far we have not tried to enter this market, but we [will do so] now," says Elad Aharonson, the general manager of Elbit's UAS division.
Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit's main competitor, has been very active in the Indian UAS market, and won a number of major contracts. Several smaller Israeli manufacturers are also active in the country, and are currently trying to win some of the tenders aimed at equipping the Indian army with mini-UAS.
As previously reported by Flightglobal, within the coming three years the Indian defence establishment is expected to issue five tenders, covering the combined purchase of 600 mini-UAS to be operated by Indian artillery and infantry units, and also by the nation's air force and federal police.
Worth an estimated $1.25 billion, the requirements will stipulate that production activities will be performed in India.
Elbit is considering the opportunity to compete for such business, having already developed mini-UAS such as the hand-launched Skylark - previously selected by the ground forces of the Israeli defence force.
The main markets for Elbit's UAS division are currently in Europe and Latin America, although Aharonson says: "The business in Europe has slowed down, probably because of the economic crisis."