Friday, August 12, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! India looks at customized solutions for aerostats

Neelam Mathews
Aug. 12, 2011

Even as the Indian Army is expected to release an RFP for 12 aerostats of varying sizes within the next 11 months, increasingly, customized solutions for the Indian needs are being looked at.

“For instance a 71m balloon gives a 500km coverage area. Often, domestic needs do not warrant such large ranges. They are more oriented towards a set of anticipated events such as crowd management,” says an industry observer.

Increasingly, one is going to see more Indian companies enter this domain as the cost element of standardized platforms is high. An official tells Aerospace Diary that the T-Com systems, for instance, when supplied around seven years ago coast $84million each. Today the cost is down to $30 million each.

As Indian companies come into the fray, electro optic sensors will continue to be imported. “Integration can be done locally,” says an official.

“The commit, data package and weather monitoring systems are not a complicated set of payloads,” he adds.

The systems are easy to operate, less complex and tethered, an adaptable aerostat, when fitted on a mobile system, can be used for multiple purposes.

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