February 17, 2015

IAI teams up with local firm to build Bird-Eye UAS in India

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed an agreement with India's Alpha Design Technologies for the production and marketing of mini unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in India. Under this agreement, Alpha will undertake the production of IAI's Bird-Eye 400 and Bird-Eye 650 mini UAS, while the marketing will be jointly handled by both the companies.
The agreement, announced on 11 February, includes integration of additional applications and subsystems by Alpha in India with IAI's support.
IAI has previously said that potential customers for these unmanned systems include the armed forces and security agencies, including police forces, coastguard, and border security forces.
IAI's agreement with Alpha follows India's 'Buy and Make (Indian)' policy, according to Shaul Shahar, an IAI vice-president and general manager of the Military Aircraft Group. Acquisition under this policy covers purchases from Indian vendors, including an Indian company that forms a joint venture or establishes production arrangements with original equipment manufacturers, followed by licensed production.
"Alpha will meet the huge market in India and will examine further, later exports by Alpha, through IAI to various countries," said Colonel H S Shankar (retd), chairman and managing director of Alpha Design Technologies.
The Bird-Eye 400 and 650 mini-UASs are designed to provide real-time local-area tactical reconnaissance support. Produced by the company's Malat division, the Bird-Eye 400 has a maximum take-off weight of 5.6 kg and an endurance of one hour. Bird-Eye 650 has a maximum take-off weight of 11 kg and an increased endurance of more than three hours. Both are powered by an electric motor and have the same payload capacity of 1.2 kg.
IAI has also delivered Bird-Eye 400 UAS to the Russian military under a deal signed in 2009.


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