Indian state-owned aircraft manufacturer, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Elbit Systems ISTAR Division of Israel for the joint development of Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The MoU was signed by Arup Chatterjee, Director (Engg. and R&D) at HAL and Roy Zentner, VP (Business Development & Marketing) at Elbit Systems in the presence of R Madhavan, Chairman of HAL, and senior officials from HAL and Elbit Systems at the ongoing DefExpo 2020 exposition in Lucknow, India on Feb. 5.
The MoU is aimed at assessing the feasibility of the joint development of a VTOL UAV (Rotary UAV of 2 ton-class) for maritime and land-based military operations which caters to the domestic as well as the global requirements. This will promote mutually beneficial cooperation between HAL and Elbit in terms of technology, manufacturing, marketing and maintenance of the UAV globally.
The proposed VTOL UAVs have tremendous potential in carrying out maritime military missions with higher efficiency compared to a manned helicopter. Deploying a VTOL UAV will bring down the huge costs associated with inducting operating and maintaining manned helicopters on the deck. It will also benefit the Indian Armed Forces in deploying a VTOL UAV for a routine surveillance mission or operating in unsafe areas both during day and night, which otherwise would have to be carried out by manned helicopters. It may also open up new business avenues for HAL culminating in both domestic and export orders.