India's army has selected the SpyLite mini unmanned air vehicle offered by Cyient Solutions & Systems – a joint venture between local company Cyient and Israel's BlueBird Aero Systems ­– for a high-altitude surveillance requirement.

On 4 September, the company announced that the SpyLite was the only candidate to have met the army's need to perform real-time surveillance and target acquisition tasks during trials performed from 18,000ft above sea level, including in extreme weather conditions.

SpyLite - BlueBird

BlueBird Aero Systems

The UAV demonstrated quick operational readiness, from autonomous launch to precision recovery by parachute, during the trials. The activity included supplying real-time video footage by day and night, automatic return and recovery in a “no communication” situation, and the ability for an operator to control the system from a moving ground vehicle.

BlueBird chief executive Ronen Nadir says the Indian army requires a highly reliable, low-cost and field-proven UAV with high performance, diverse capabilities and ease of use.