Global Data announced on 13 January that the Indian Navy was looking for unmanned survey vessels.
Mathew George, Ph.D., Aerospace & Defense Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, says, “The Indian Navy’s (IN) lookout for an unmanned survey vessel is in line with the global interests in unmanned surface vessels that are to be used for a myriad functions. With proper planning and deployment, the use of USVs will allow the navy to conduct certain missions safely and in most instances more efficiently and with the overall cost lower than similar manned operations.”
He adds that an interesting point in the RFI is the requirement for the applicant entity to be an Indian vendor that is in line with the guidelines laid down by the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. This prerequisite is a clear push to ensure that local industry gets an opportunity to develop their offerings, and the ready availability of expertise, parts and services to the Indian Navy, in case there’s a requirement.
“India’s long-term aim at indigenization of critical technologies got a boost through the government’s reforms in the midst of the pandemic as it laid down new rules that limited the contracts below a certain value to Indian companies and opened up areas with the aim to be a global manufacturing and export hub for defense equipment,” he says.
“Moving away from policies and providing opportunities for companies to participate will be crucial for local companies to prove their technologies before being taken seriously in foreign markets. However, it will be interesting to see whether a final purchase is made within the timelines suggested, or whether like other announcements, they are caught in red tape and eventual cancellations.”