Sunday, September 4, 2011

India Plans Aerostat RFI

 Neelam Mathews

Defense Technology International Sep 01 , 2011 , p. 8

Printed headline: Indian Army Wants Aerostats

The Indian army plans to release a global request for information for 12 aerostats of different sizes within the next 12 months. Responses are expected from major contractors such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Rosoboronexport, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, BAE, Israel Aerospace Industries and Thales. There is, however, a growing trend to tap Indian companies for specialized product needs. (Photo shows local manufacturer Aurora Integrated Systems’ SkyView aerostat.) Unlike the Indian air force, which is looking at aerostats for strategic surveillance, air-defense control and reporting, and electronic/communication intelligence, the army wants aerostats to enhance long-range surveillance. According to an official, it is likely the army will also look at medium-sized aerostats—for example, to view artillery targets up to 70 km (43 mi.) away. Opportunities in India for aerostats are expected to emanate from new capital acquisitions as well as upgrading of existing capabilities. In addition to the Defense Ministry and Home Affairs, state police forces are looking at leasing aerostats.

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