The Indian Army is seeking to accelerate the development of indigenous drone technologies to assist soldiers patrolling the country’s borders with China and Pakistan.
A memorandum of understanding between the Army Design Bureau (ADB) and the Drone Federation of India (DFI) was signed on Monday, signifying the launch of the “Him-Drone-a-thin” program.
The program will reportedly accelerate invitations for proposals for the research and development of advanced drone solutions.
According to ADB director Major General C. S. Mann, the partnership will help in providing “a focused approach” to modernizing Indian drone manufacturing capabilities.
“It will also enable companies to leverage the expertise on the subject within the Indian Army. We look forward to working together,” he said, as quoted by Analytics India Magazine.
The drone technologies are also expected to support the operations of the Indian Army in challenging Himalayan terrain.
🔴The #Army Design Bureau has signed a MoU with the #Drone Federation of India to collaboratively work towards promoting research, development, testing and manufacturing of drones, counter-drone and associated technologies that can assist the #IndianArmy in its operations. pic.twitter.com/Z6UjXn9tBW
— IDU (@defencealerts) August 9, 2022
Increasing Need for Drones
Drones play an increasingly important role in modern warfare, especially in high-altitude areas where soldiers often face intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance challenges.
The success of unmanned systems in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has also fueled an increase in drone tech production from many countries.
The DFI estimates that in the next five years, the country’s drone industry will reach 50,000 Indian crore ($6.3 billion).
Among India’s biggest drone investments was a $22 million agreement with the US to co-develop Air-launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in 2021.
The Asian nation also awarded a contract to IdeaForge for the supply of additional SWITCH 1.0 drones to improve India’s surveillance capabilities along its border with China.