The Indian government has issued an expression of interest (EOI) for local industry to design and develop an underwater launched unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Defence Research and Development Organization project is expected to enhance submarine situational awareness, providing real-time photos and video from a distance.
The EOI specifies that the unmanned vehicle be launchable from a standard NATO torpedo tube to a depth of 50 meters (164 feet) and that the drone should be controlled from the sub through a data link within line of sight.
At the conclusion of a mission, the drone should be recoverable “either onboard a consort platform using a one point recovery system or by means of a floatation bag.”
The platform’s primary roles include day and night intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, augmentation of maritime domain awareness, real-time target tracking, and beach reconnaissance before special operations.
Its secondary roles include “assistance in battle damage assessment.”
The drone’s payload should consist of an electro-optic infrared camera housed in a canister, while the underwater control station should include a “ruggedized storage box with charging mechanism” and an extra set of batteries.
Additionally, the drone — though expendable — should be recoverable upon completion of an operation, either through a “one point recovery system” on a consort platform” or a “floatation bag recovery system.”