Two private-sector Indian defence firms have announced that they will co-operate in the research and development of a submarine-launched unmanned aerial system (UAS).

According to an industry source, the UAS will comprise the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) plus a specialised underwater launch canister.

The project was unveiled during Bharat Drone Mahotsav 2022 in New Delhi on 27 May by the Bangalore-based UAS developer NewSpace Research and Technologies (NRT) and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Defence. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-develop the platform.

“Research for the project is starting immediately. The initial goal is to develop an underwater-launched UAV for the Indian Navy and for the global market,” the source told Janes .

“This is the first private-sector undertaking of this important realm of submarine military technologies in India, and therefore, there are challenges. We are starting with one specific UAS [development] in the days ahead,” the source added.