Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has received approval from its home nation's defence ministry to propose the local production and assembly of Heron TP unmanned air vehicles in India, as the company pursues further business opportunities with New Delhi.
The Heron TP is in a competition also involving the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper, which the US state department recently approved for potential sale to New Delhi.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited Israel earlier this month, and his military entourage received additional briefings on the Heron TP and Israel's willingness to transfer technical know-how and production work to India if the type is selected.
In a wider bid to address New Delhi's "Make in India" policy requirements for defence procurement, IAI has entered into a partnership with Indian companies Dynamatic Technologies and Elcom Systems. Intended to meet the needs of the Indian UAV market, the pact includes an agreement linked to the production, assembly and in-service support of such equipment in the country.
Also during Modi's visit, IAI and Wipro Enterprises signed an agreement to collaborate on the manufacturing of composite aerostructures for the civil aerospace sector in India, including building a local plant.