Indian Military UAV Procurment Programs

Ashwin

Agent_47
Staff member
Administrator
Nov 30, 2017
4,398
7,107
Bangalore
Why is it so that we set so high expectation that only one in the world matches? How come other forces lives without those and do much better than Indian Armed Forces?
Because not every other armed forces are required to protect such high altitude.
 

Himanshu

Senior member
Dec 3, 2017
912
1,488
New Delhi
indopacfront.blogspot.com
Army probes purchase of drones worth Rs 6 crore, cancels order

The Army is investigating alleged irregularities in procurement of drones in the Eastern Command during the tenure of Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi as the Eastern Army Commander. Documents accessed by The Indian Express have revealed that the investigation pertains to the purchase of 67 quadcopters at a cost of approximately Rs 6 crores under the Army Commanders Special Financial Powers Fund in 2016. Lt Gen Bakshi took over as Eastern Army Commander in August 2015 and retired in July 2017, after having been passed over for appointment as Chief of Army Staff despite being the senior most general for the post.

The Army has cancelled the supply order after finding the equipment defective during acceptance test procedure. Sources said officers involved in the procurement process, including a Major General who headed the technical evaluation committee, were being attached for the disciplinary procedure at HQs 17 Corps in Ranchi.

The Eastern Command had a floated a Request For Proposal (RFP) in April 2016 inviting bids for procurement of 67 quadcopters (day/night) medium range equipment out of the Army Commanders Special Financial Power Fund for the year 2015-16. After being successful in the techno-commercial bidding process, a Mumbai-based private firm, M/s Sure Safety Private Ltd, was selected to fulfil the order by the then Major General (Artillery) on behalf of the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command in December 2016.

In March 2018, Eastern Command headquarters cancelled the supply order on the grounds that the suppliers had committed a breach of the supply order by failing to supply the entire quantity of quadcopters in time and that the quadcopters that were supplied had failed to meet the qualitative requirements. The Army alleged that prima facie, the firm had misrepresented the capabilities of the quadcopters to project the firm as technically qualified when it was not meeting the threshold eligibility.

The Army also ordered a Court of Inquiry around the same time to find out how the firm had been given the order to supply the drones despite the equipment having qualitative defects. The firm had contested the Army’s contention and said that while the majority of the parameters of the quadcopters were in compliance, only a few variations were noticed during testing. It also noted therein that the equipment was complex and required a high level of skill in handling and operation. The firm said that the quadcopters were used without training causing damage to them.

The Army, while cancelling the order, said that the equipment was urgently required for “enhancing the operational capability, to carry out surveillance and keep strict vigil in the operational areas”. It blamed the firm for being insensitive to the operational and national security considerations as the supplier of the security equipment. “You were expected to show the highest standards of honesty and integrity to ensure that there are no deficiencies/shortcomings in the qualitative requirements of the above equipment. Your dishonest and fraudulent approach in relation to qualitative standards of the said equipment has created a void in the surveillance capability, thus jeopardising national security,” the Eastern Command letter to the firm said.

On its part, the firm has denied it has ever used any undue influence of any nature in bagging the contract. It has termed the cancellation of order as “wrongful, bad in law and unilateral decision”. In response to the show cause notice by the Army, the firm has blamed the Army for damaging the drones due to mishandling. It also alleged that the Court of Inquiry had been ordered with “ulterior motives to justify the cancellation of the supply order which was done to avoid the liability of payment”. Reached for comment, Lt Gen Bakshi (redt), declined to comment.
 

Arvind

The PoKeMon
Moderator
Dec 1, 2017
1,388
985
India
Let me rephrase, how is it incorrect to draft QR which a single vendor matches and then which meets the QR in all it's terms?

Not it is not, however it is incorrect to draft a QR so that only one specific vendor can meet.

Basis for my assertion - vibes. No proof, no technical expertise. Just strange that we need to have a UAV to operate at heights none other country feels like operating. Offcourse we can come up with threat perception theories and suddenly such UAV would sound the need of hour.

Could't be requirement be made so that we can have a choice and thus putting ourselves at a better business advantage? A trade off?

Or we always need an elephant, that too a biggest one?
 

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,776
7,405
India
Not exactly.

The question arise when you come up with requirements only a single vendor can fulfill and that too from a country which need not to operate at even half of the altitude.

Unique weapons can be purchased through GTG route, like the Heron TP. Or even Avengers, Guardians, FGFA etc.

This UAV purchase was valid.
 

Arvind

The PoKeMon
Moderator
Dec 1, 2017
1,388
985
India
Okay. Let me just try and give an analogy. The Mi-17? It has a ceiling of 6000 meters. That is 19685.0394 Feet ASL. We operate it above 23000 ft ASL for air maintenance in Northern Siachen Glacier. While your contention holds as highlighted, but imagine creating a RFP because we need separate equipment to cater for that region. And such areas are not limited to Siachen, you have North Sikkim, Pauri-Garhwal, Sugar Sector, where you will need higher altitudes to effectively carry out search and destroy missions.

And you are also right about the portion as highlighted in red. How do you know that we are not piggybacking something in the deal? A technology of say a microchip required critically which the company manufactures, without letting on the fact known to those who may be interested in our acquisition of the same? Just speculating myself on this aspect myself. I can neither confirm nor deny any such instances having taken place earlier.

We can wish, atleast me as a civilian, that enough explanation has been provided for such acquisitions and the need well surpassed the economic advantage a multiple vendor RFP provides.

These negative sentiments are outcomes of gross misconduct and mismanagement rampant in institutes, including army. People will question any move capable for graft, as its tough for our fellow countrymen to miss such an opportunity, both, to make money and to ask questions.

Considering the kind of work armed forces do i.e national security, some degree of opacity in decision is expected. However opacity should not be a cover for personal gains. What we expect is a maximum level scrutiny and optimum decision making.

note: My questions are meant as a rhetorical statement to continue the discourse. A particular member felt am aggressive when I post this way and felt offended. Please do not feel that ways, the problem with my fellow country(wo)men is that they are too sensitive and take things personally, without understanding that this medium of communication has hardly the tools to be able to understand the context of a communique, as we all are bereft of the value of non-verbal communication which reinforces our receptive modalities through visual stimulation. So, if you feel offended by my style of postings, do let know, I will further try to adapt. (I get along perfectly with US-European-Russians with this style as they are perhaps more dissociated in terms of inter-personnel dealings, dispassionate and take things for the instance usually)

Such disclaimer was unnecessary.

Agree that Indians, in general, are less objective in discourse viz a viz people outside subcontinent and put more weight on personas and are easily offended. Here "you" is literally "YOU". Everything is personal with us and thus its safe to talk in third party. :)
 
Last edited:

Arvind

The PoKeMon
Moderator
Dec 1, 2017
1,388
985
India
@Hellfire That brings me to another area of contention.

How do we define the integrity of an individual or an institute and derive whether it is good enough to hold secrets of national interests? Why I am querying so is, there are definitely more than a handful of persons who are aware of complete details of Rafale acquisition including weapon package. They are trusted with the information, but Supreme Court judges who are responsible for country's judiciary deemed not fit to be trusted. Why so? Isn't enabling a single institutions with all powers with no second party scrutiny is a great recipe for graft?
 
  • Agree
Reactions: R!cK

Ankit Kumar

Senior member
Nov 30, 2017
2,311
2,103
Bangalore
2013 Capability Acquisition Plan for UAVs
IMG_20190804_171323.jpg
 

Ashwin

Agent_47
Staff member
Administrator
Nov 30, 2017
4,398
7,107
Bangalore
Services finalising requirements for armed drones from the U.S.

The proposal for 10 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones for each Service is on, defence sources said

As India and the U.S. look to announce defence deals worth around $3 billion during President Donald Trump’s visit beginning on Monday, the proposal to procure armed drones from the U.S. for the three services is very much under way and the qualitative requirements (QR) are currently being finalised, defence sources said.

“The proposal for 10 High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones for each Service is on. The qualitative requirements (QR) are currently being finalised,” a defence source told The Hindu. “The pricing and availability (P&A) data has been obtained from the U.S. and joint QRs are being formulated, while the payloads will be different for each service,” the source added.
The Navy’s QRs are ready and that of the Army and the Air Force should be ready by the next meeting of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), likely within 40 days, the source said.
The CoSC consists of the three chiefs and is headed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), who is also the permanent Chairman of CoSC.

This week during Mr. Trump’s visit to New Delhi, the two sides are expected to announce deals for 24 MH-60R Multi-Role Helicopters for the Navy and six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Army worth around $3 billion. The two deals got the final approval from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) last week. There are several other big ticket deals in the pipeline, which includes the armed drones, air defence system to protect Delhi, MK-45 127mm naval guns and six more P-8I long patrol maritime patrol aircraft.
The issue of procuring armed drones from the U.S.— the MQ-9 Reaper or Predator-B built by General Atomics — has been long under discussion, with questions being raised over its necessity given the steep cost and also the operational requirement in the Indian context. With a vast ocean space to monitor and increasing profile in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the Navy has been the one pushing for High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) drones to beef up surveillance.
“There is a drive towards fleet rationalisation,” a Navy source said, adding that they are at a point where in place of manned platforms they should look at unmanned ones. “As we look at unmanned platforms, the number of minesweepers has been reduced from 12 to eight and requirement for additional P-8Is has been reduced from 10 to six, the Navy source explained.
The HALE drones can conduct surveillance, while the P-8Is will be for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role, the source stated, adding that the Navy is looking for Seaguardian drones armed with missile and radars for maritime reconnaissance.
“If the process goes as per plan, then we expect to issue the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) by first half of this year,” another source said. The U.S. has in principle approved the sale of these armed drones to India following which the P&A data was made available.
Expensive platforms
For the Navy, the Seaguardian can fly in sync with its P-8Is, which are also from the U.S. With India signing the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement(COMCASA) in 2018, U.S. origin platforms will also get encrypted systems which will further improve their capabilities. The unmanned platforms reduce the number of personnel, their turnaround and associated costs, officials said.
While the Navy has a different requirement, there have been questions on the need of armed drones for the Army and the IAF due to which the deal has been delayed for a long time. Each drone with its load of weapons and sensors is expected to cost around $200 million. “It is more expensive than a fighter aircraft,” a defence source said.
According to General Atomics, Seaguardian, the maritime variant of Predator-B, can fly at an altitude of over 40,000 feet and has a maximum endurance of 35 hours. It can carry an external payload of 2.1 tonnes across nine hard points.
 

Ashwin

Agent_47
Staff member
Administrator
Nov 30, 2017
4,398
7,107
Bangalore
Indian MoD issues global RFI for 100 loitering munition systems


India's Ministry of Defence (MoD) has invited responses by 7 April from foreign original equipment manufacturers and assorted vendors to its request for information (RFI) on the intended procurement of 100 man-portable loitering munition systems for the Indian Army (IA).

The MoD's 6 March global RFI states that these "ruggedised" systems, weighing less than 20 kg each, must have a minimum flight endurance of 30 minutes, a line-of-sight operational range of 15 km, and also be capable of operating at altitudes of between 300 m and 4,500 m.

Fitted with a warhead capable of destroying "soft skinned" or relatively less protected targets, the systems will also be required to operate day and night and in all-weather conditions and be operated by no more than two people.
 

Attachments

  • RFI Loiter Munition.pdf
    214.3 KB · Views: 47

randomradio

Senior Member
Nov 30, 2017
9,776
7,405
India
@Falcon

You were hoping we buy some Fireflies.


The Army is looking to acquire the Raven from the United States and the Spike Firefly from Israel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Falcon

GASOLINE_ON_FIRE

Active member
Dec 3, 2017
143
175
"The Ukrainians were disappointed with the MQ-11 Raven. One Ukrainian military advisor said if it was upto him, he would return them "

"There are two Indian companies Tata Advanced Systems & Idea Forge who have hand held UAVs and undergoing trials for 200 drone tender. A 200 drone “emergency” order to our own companies will go a long way in showing support to pvt indigenous defence manufacturers. "
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ankit Kumar