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Israel rejects Indian Lakshya, ALH.

Israel has refused to buy India's indigenously developed Lakshya target drone and Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH). Indian Defense Ministry officials say they are perturbed at the last-minute refusal by Israel to buy the Lakshya and ALH, saying Israel's decision could cast a shadow over Indo-Israeli defense ties.

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India's Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) began the Lakshya project in 1976. The Lakshya is a subsonic, reuseable aerial target system, remotely piloted from the ground, that is designed for training both pilots and air-defense personnel. It is a turbojet system, capable of carrying a 350-kg payload and with a range of 600 km. It can be launched from land or from a ship and can be controlled from up to 100 km away. A DRDO scientist said several indigenously developed payloads are now available for target-drone applications, such as electro-optical (EO) imaging, laser ranging and designation, and airborne infrared sensing. The flight-control electronics (FCE) for the Lakshya employ an analog-based design that performs the air-craft's flight-control and recovery functions, according to the DRDO scientist.

Israel had been negotiating the purchase of 12 Lakshya drones over the last two years. Israeli diplomats in New Delhi declined to give reasons for Israel's recent decision to scrap the planned purchases, though some sources indicate that Israel is now looking to acquire target drones free of charge from the US. The diplomats did note, however, that there is a possibility that Tel Aviv may revive its plans to buy the ALH, produced by India's Bangalore-based Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL).

A number of defense projects are at various stages of negotiations between India and Israel, including an Israeli EO payload for India's indigenously developed Nishant unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) (for more on the Nishant, see "India Gives Green Light to Nishant UAV," JED, March 2005, p. 32), the Python beyond-visual-range missile, the Green Pine radar, advanced assault rifles, and Galil sniper rifles. Sources indicate, however, the Israel's refusal to buy Indian military equipment may affect future Indian purchases of such equipment from Israel.

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Title Annotation:Advanced Light Helicopter
Author:Singh, Pulkit
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Apr 1, 2005
Words:339
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