Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NewSpace Research & Technologies (NRT), a start-up based in Bangalore, India, to develop a new range of submarine-launched uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), reported Economic Times.

The MoU was signed during a two-day Drone Mahotsav event held in New Delhi.

The event was inaugurated by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on 27 May.

Drone Mahotsav saw the participation of more than 1,600 delegates, including Indian Government officials, armed forces, foreign diplomats, central armed police forces, public sector undertakings (PSUs), drone start-ups and other private companies.

L&T plans to develop the submarine-launched UAVs to support the Indian Navy and its future requirements.

Submarine-launched UAVs are considered a relatively new concept, with only a few countries having this capability. They are considered to be complex, as the drone is required to navigate through water before taking off to air, reported the publication.

Commenting on the UAVs, an undisclosed source said: “This will comprise an underwater component and an airborne component and will be one of the most futuristic product development efforts to come out of India.

“Globally, the US has deployed this capability on their submarines to close a viable ‘kill chain’ for their underwater launched weapons to target surface and land targets.”

Last December, the Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Technology Development Fund (TDF) floated a requirement on behalf of the Indian Navy to develop UAV systems.

According to TDF, the submarine-launched uncrewed aerial system (SLUAS) project is expected to meet the tactical needs of the submarines by providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) as well as maritime domain awareness (MDA) to the Indian Navy.