DRDO an­nounces ten­der for In­dian Coast Guard

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

Given the small num­ber of avi­a­tion as­sets at the In­dian Coast Guard’s dis­posal, there’s fi­nally some move­ment to­wards fleet ac­cre­tion over and above the 35+ Dornier Do-228 tac­ti­cal re­con­nais­sance air­craft in ser­vice. Now, to ser­vice a re­quire­ment of 19 mar­itime re­con­nais­sance and multi-mis­sion high per­for­mance air­craft for the In­dian Coast Guard, the De­fence Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Or­gan­i­sa­tion (DRDO) lab, the Cen­tre for Air­borne Sys­tems (CABS), has is­sued a re­quest for in­for­ma­tion to iden­tify an air­craft plat­form for the pro­posed multi-mis­sion mar­itime air­craft (MMMA) that it pro­poses to in­te­grate in Ben­galuru. CABS has said that it will be look­ing im­me­di­ately for six mod­i­fied air­frames, fol­lowed by three as an op­tions clause, and fi­nally an ad­di­tional 10 air­craft, for a to­tal fleet of 19 planes ded­i­cated to the In­dian Coast Guard.

Apart from mar­itime re­con­nais­sance, the pro­posed plat­form will also be used for SAR, cargo and per­son­nel trans­porta­tion, air am­bu­lance and pol­lu­tion sur­veil­lance. While CABS will be de­vel­op­ing many of the sen­sors in con­junc­tion with other lab­o­ra­to­ries, the De­fence Avion­ics Re­search Es­tab­lish­ment (DARE), its sis­ter lab­o­ra­tory in Ben­galuru, will be look­ing to im­port the mar­itime pa­trol radar, EO/IR sys­tems and pol­lu­tion con­trol suite. CABS has not stip­u­lated the con­fig­u­ra­tion of the air­craft it is look­ing for—whether jet or tur­bo­prop, long- or medium-en­durance—but is likely to clar­ify on th­ese qual­i­ta­tive re­quire­ments shortly.

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