February 07, 2013
Boeing wants to sell its ScanEagle and Integrator UAVs to India, and also hopes to interest the country in the V-22 Osprey, according to Dennis Swanson, president of Boeing Defense, Space and Security’s Indian operations.
“We see a market in India for ScanEagle that can help provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data or communications relay,” Swanson tells Aviation Week on the sidelines of the ninth Aero India show in Bengaluru.
Capable of flying above 16,000 ft., ScanEagle has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent, low-altitude reconnaissance. The UAV carries either an inertially stabilized electro-optical or an infrared camera. The gimbaled camera allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets, according to Boeing.
The UAV, which is 4 ft. long with a 10-ft. wingspan, can remain on station for more than 15 hr. Future variants will have an endurance of more than 30 hr.
Boeing subsidiary Insitu is currently displaying full-scale models of the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aerial vehicles at Aero India.
Swanson also hopes India will show interest in the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The Osprey can carry 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 lb. of internal cargo or 15,000 lb. of external cargo, at twice the speed of a helicopter. It features a cross-coupled drive system so either engine can power the rotors if one engine fails. For shipboard compatibility, the rotors fold and the wing rotates to minimize the aircraft’s footprint for storage. “The V-22 is the only vertical-lift platform capable of rapid self-deployment to any theater of operation, worldwide,” Swanson says.
Boeing’s business in India has boomed in recent years, despite its loss of India’s multibillion dollar fighter procurement, ultimately won by Dassault’s Rafale. Boeing has already bagged Indian defense contracts worth more than $8 billion in the past few years.
“While our engagement on the defense side is relatively recent, we have been fortunate to be selected by the Indian navy to provide P-8I maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft and Harpoon missiles, and selected by the Indian air force for the C-17 strategic and tactical airlifter and Boeing business jets,” Swanson says. “This has happened as a result of India’s defense modernization effort, Boeing’s renewed focus on international markets, and closer relations between India and the United States.”
Late last year, Boeing won a $1.3 billion Indian air force (IAF) contract for 22 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters. “Negotiations are currently on with the Indian government and we would also discuss the option of 11 more of these aircraft,” Swanson says.