Larsen & Toubro will develop a new variety of submarine launched drones to satisfy Indian Navy requirements, with the company teaming up with a Bengaluru-based start-up for a joint research and development effort. Submarine-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are a relatively new concept, with just a few countries in the world capable of operating them.
They’re also a difficult design and development undertaking because the drone will have to manoeuvre through water before taking to the air. At the ‘Drone Mahotsav’ event in the capital, which was opened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) inked a memorandum of understanding with NewSpace Research & Technologies (NRT).
“This will have an undersea and an airborne component, and it will be one of India’s most forward-thinking product development endeavours.” The US has deployed this capability on its submarines around the world to “close a viable ‘kill chain’ for their underwater launched weapons to target surface and land targets,” according to sources.
The Indian Navy has put out a request for such a system via the Defence Research and Development Organization’s (DRDO) Technology Development Fund. L&T contributes significant underwater systems expertise to the project, having worked extensively on Indian Arihant Class nuclear-powered submarines.