The Indian Army has recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to buy drones using the emergency procurement route and fast track method in an effort to improve and enhance the logistics capabilities in high-altitude zones. According to the plan, the Indian Army needs 163 drones that can operate at high altitudes and 200 drones that can operate at medium altitudes with attachments.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is looking for potential bidders to participate in the procurement process for quantity 163 logistic drones (high altitude) and 200 logistic drones (medium altitude) under the Buy (Indian) category, subject to the specifications in the following paragraphs. According to the Defence Ministry, there must be 60% indigenous content.
The drones are required to be compatible with the Shape-file format and the Defence Series Map.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Authorized Vendors, or Government Sponsored Export Agencies have been asked for their responses (applicable in countries where domestic laws do not permit direct export by OEM), with the caveat that OEM would receive preference in cases where more than one of the aforementioned parties offers the same piece of equipment.
According to the instructions that were given by the department for the drones, they are required to be compatible with the Shape-file format and the Defence Series Map. Alongside this, the mission range of the drones should not be less than 10 kilometres. Additionally, 200 drones should be compatible to fly from 3000m AGL and 163 drones with an operational altitude of not less than 4000m AMSL (about 13,000ft) (Approx 9800ft). One audiovisual per system, one MPGCS, one colour day video camera, one monochromatic night Thermal Sensor, a container for carrying supplies, and one set of spare batteries should be included in each drone.
The operational height in a medium-altitude environment should be 3000m AMSL and 1000m AGL.
100 kg has been stated as the maximum weight for the drones, but they are required to be appropriate to withstand the high–altitude robust winds and currents. The endurance of both drones is expected not to be less than 40 minutes along with a payload potential of the high-altitude drone of about 15 kg and for the medium-altitude drone, it should not be less than 20 kg.
The operational height in a medium-altitude environment should be 3000m AMSL and 1000m AGL (above ground level). According to a source, the drones will be used for a variety of tasks, such as transporting fuel, food, and even medicines.
The RFP by the Indian Army read, This RFP is being issued with no financial commitment, and the Ministry of Defence reserves the right to withdraw the RFP and change or vary any part thereof or foreclose the procurement case at any stage.