Dynamatic Technologies Limited and AeroVironment Inc (NASDAQ: AVAV) have inaugurated the pilot production facility for the development of the next generation unmanned aircraft system, Cheel. The facility was inaugurated by Lt Gen (Retd.) Jeff Kohler, Vice President International Business Development, Boeing Defense Space & Security, and Jim Gribbon, Vice President Asia, Lockheed Martin International, who were leading a USIBC delegation of industry leaders on a visit to Dynamatic’s aeronautic manufacturing facilities at Bangalore, India.
The inauguration of the pilot production facility is part of a wider strategic plan for growth and internationalization outlined by Dynamatic and AeroVironment. The Governments of India and the United States of America have selected a next-generation unmanned aircraft system (UAS) based on AeroVironment’s market-leading family of small UAS as a collaborative project under the India-United States Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). The project named ‘Cheel’ will be jointly developed and produced by Dynamatic Technologies and AeroVironment in India, subject to applicable US and Indian government approvals.
“We are honored to be selected for this important and high-profile program, which is supported by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of India,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems business. “Small UAS deliver uniquely valuable capabilities to a large and growing number of customers across multiple industries and geographies. We look forward to applying our more than 25 years of proven small UAS leadership and experience in partnership with Dynamatic Technologies to establish a world-class unmanned systems industry in India and address a large domestic and global market.”
The unmanned aircraft system, named ‘Cheel’, will be based on AeroVironment’s proven small UAS which are the world’s most widely deployed unmanned aircraft systems, and represent over 85% of the Unmanned Aircraft owned by the U.S. Department of Defense. AeroVironment’s Raven®, Puma AE®, Wasp AE® and Shrike® systems, consisting of high-durability yet lightweight aircraft, advanced color and thermal sensor payloads and hand-held wireless control systems, can be operated manually or via pre-programmed navigation. Cheel is intended to be the next-generation small unmanned aircraft system for joint development and production under the DTTI program by Dynamatic Technologies and AeroVironment in India.
The ‘Cheel’ Pilot Production Facility will house an advanced avionics and communications laboratory, payload development facility, composite facility as well as an assembly and testing facility for small Unmanned Aerial Systems.
“We will pool Dynamatic’s advanced Indian manufacturing and engineering capabilities along with AeroVironment’s unique UAV design skills, application expertise and global support services to co-develop and produce the world’s best Mini UAV’S” said Udayant Malhoutra, CEO and Managing Director, Dynamatic Technologies Limited “The next- generation Cheel will be a truly global system- Make in India, Serve the World.”
AeroVironment’s Raven® & Wasp AE® UAS with GCS. (Photo: AeroVironment Inc)