The first fleet of indigenously-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle `Nishant', specifically designed for any-time launch and recovery, would be delivered to the Army by mid-2007, Aeronautical Development Establishment Director G Elangovan said today.
ADE conducted its 106th flight trial early this morning and the multi-mission UAV's successful launch and recovery here was watched by officials of the Coast Guard, he said.
"The uniqueness of Nishant is that it has no wheel at the bottom and is ready for launch and recovery from any point", he told reporters here.
Noting that it did not require a runway, he said the Indian Army had placed orders for the UAV with the Bangalore-based ADE and the first fleet would be delivered by middle of next year.
`Nishant' would be the state-of-the-art UAV to be acquired by the Army after `Lakshaya', which is now used as an aerial target system for shooting, Programme Director Natarajan said.
Besides, the UAV would also be used for civilian applications, he said.
With the commissioning of the ninth Indian Coast Guard station at Beypore near here - third in Kerala - full-time surveillance of coastal areas of the state would be complete, Coast Guard officials said.
Coast Guard Director General Prabhakaran Paleri would commission the station at Beypore on Thursday, they said.