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India and UAE Join Hands to Provide High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite Solutions for Army

© Photo : IRNAArtist's impression of the Khayyam earth imaging satellite.
Artist's impression of the Khayyam earth imaging satellite. - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.03.2024
The UAE-based Mira Aerospace and the Indian start-up VEDA Aeronautics have joined hands to provide High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) solutions tailored for the Indian market, serving both military and civilian purposes.The initiative is being overseen by the Indian military.
“Under this agreement, the companies have committed to deliver a HAPS platform specific to the Indian market within the first half of 2024. Mira Aerospace and VEDA Aeronautics previously performed test flights in the Indian airspace, where the technology demonstrator HAPS unit flew in the Indian stratosphere. This test continues to be the only such flight in India to date,” according to the press release by Mira Aerospace on Thursday.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is seeking to procure a HAPS solution with the capability to carry a payload of at least 35 kg and sustain operations at an altitude of 18,000 m above sea level for a minimum duration of 30-45 days.
Developed as part of the Ministry of Defence's 'Make-I project' with a budget of INR 1,000 crore i.e., $ 100 Million, predominantly funded by the government, the HAPS is intended for strategic and continuous monitoring of India's borders.
The HAPS has effectively completed flights above the Pokhran Test Range, soaring at an altitude of 12 km. This test carried out in March of the previous year, stands as the sole flight of a HAPS in the Indian stratosphere, as per the sources cited by the Print.
Operating solely on solar energy and cruising autonomously at altitudes ranging from 16 to 20 km for extended periods, the HAPS platform will bridge the gap in capabilities between satellites and High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) UAVs.

Both the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Navy are actively involved in the project and are interested in acquiring this capability for both short-term and long-term objectives.

An Indian army launcher vehicle with missiles take part during the full dress rehearsal for the upcoming Republic Day parade in Kolkata, India, Monday, Jan. 24, 2022.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.03.2024
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