India has ambitious plans to introduce unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for its pressing security, military and maritime reconnaissance needs. UAVs have been successfully deployed in the insurgency-stricken Kashmir region, and may soon be pressed into service to combat Maoist rebels in the forest areas of Chhatisgarh.
UAVs are currently being tested in combat situations by the Indian armed forces, and early test results have proven that this technology will be very useful, more economical and successful in different types of operations. The government is actively supporting efforts to build a platform for indigenous UAV developments. The Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is leading many joint programmes for UAV development.
India is expected to be an extensive user of UAVs over the next decade, and numerous opportunities exist for industry stakeholders to penetrate the Indian UAV market. Partnerships with established UAV companies are ways to kickstart the UAV market in India. Collaborations in areas such as network centric warfare (NCW) and Electronics Warfare (EW) are attractive options, owing to the country's tremendous domestic IT resources.