New Delhi: As the Indian military looks to acquire over 150 medium altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Adani Group has written to the defence ministry offering its Hermes 900 UAV under the Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured (IDDM) category of the Defence Procurement Procedure.
“We have written to the Ministry of Defence in January requesting it to procure the systems under the IDDM category that requires the highest level of indigenisation,” Ashish Rajvanshi, head, Defence and Aerospace at Adani Group, told a select group of journalists at the Aero India in Bengaluru.
“We can cover 60 per cent indigenisation as far as the UAV is concerned.”
Rajvanshi said that irrespective of the re-categorisation of the tender from a “buy and make” category to IDDM, the ministry has said that this is a huge capability jump for the country.
If the Adani Group proposal goes through, it will be competing with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Tata Aerospace and Defence for the project.
DRDO’s Rustom 2, designed to remain in the air for up to 24 hours, will undergo user trials by the end of this year. Hermes 900 is said to have an endurance of 36 hours.
The Adani-Elbit facility in Hyderabad will roll out the first Hermes 900 UAV aero structure in June for an order of the Israeli armed forces.
The Israeli firm has tied up with Adani to manufacture the drone.
Rajvanshi said the group’s first priority is the creation of a defence and aerospace hub in the country and for this it is open to more acquisitions in the MSME sector.
He said the criteria for acquisition is that the company should offer unique capabilities that are currently missing in the sector.
The Gujarat-based edible oils-to-ports conglomerate, which made its foray into the defence sector last year, is working on an aggressive plan to acquire more aerospace and defence companies in the MSME sector.
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The group has partnered with SAAB for the upcoming contract for 114 fighter jets to be manufactured in India. It said it is hopeful that the selection process will start by July.