Israeli manufacturers are preparing to team with Indian companies to offer mini- and micro-unmanned air vehicles. The Indian army is expected to release a request for quotations for the project in the first quarter of 2011.

Israel Aerospace Industries already has a strong foothold in India's defence establishment and is likely to offer one or more of its small UAV systems directly - possibly the developmental Mini Panther tiltrotor.

Aeronautics Defense Systems and Elbit Systems are looking for local partners, while BlueBird has already finalised a teaming agreement with Indian company Dynamatic Technologies.

BlueBird president Ronen Nadir says the teaming agreement is aimed, among other things, at establishing a better position in the forthcoming tender.

The Indian army is expected to seek delivery of 500 mini- and micro-UAV systems, with the selected design providing an endurance of at least 30min and the ability to be operated by one or two soldiers.

An earlier request for information also specified the use of either fuel or battery power, with hand-launch or vertical take-off and landing options.

Source: Flight International