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12 Weaponized Autonomous Unmanned Boat for Indian Navy


Nov 12, 2022

iDEX is an initiative by GoI to build an ecosystem to foster innovation & technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging innovators & entrepreneurs to deliver technologically advanced solutions to Indian armed forces. The objective of iDEX is to engage Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes, and academia and provide them grants/funding and other support to carry out R&D development which has good potential for future adoption for Indian defence and aerospace needs.

Autonomous Weaponized Boat Swarms

There have been many contracts signed for acquisitions of the defence technology as a part of iDEX program, however the one which has caught our attention is Autonomous Weaponized Boat Swarms for the Indian Navy. This is a very interesting and niche concept in the Naval warfare. It has also proven during Russia Ukraine war where Ukraine has been using Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV) against Russian Frigates in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. These vessels are cheap compared to costly frigates and destroyers and can inflict huge damage to adversaries.

Weaponized Autonomous Unmanned Boat for Indian Navy

On 5th Jan 2022, iDEX has inked its 50th SPRINT contract with Sagar Defence for Autonomous Weaponised Boat Swarms for the Indian Navy. This is one of the technologies out of the 75 challenges introduced by the Indian Navy under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav in 2022. Sagar Defence has the expertise to develop country’s first weaponsied Autonomous unmanned boat with capability for swarming. The contract relates to an Indian Navy project of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 7) SPRINT initiative and post development of the weaponsied Autonomous Unmanned Boat.

DRDO & Sagar Defence collaboration

Last year in October, ahead of Defense Expo DRDO have tested 3 remote unmanned weaponized boats in Pune. These boats were developed in collaboration with the private start-up Sagar Defence Engineering. The vessel is capable of relying the video feed to the ground control station and can be very useful for surveillance, reconnaissance & patrolling. It can also be mounted with a machine gun for insurgence operations. As per reports, the boat has an endurance of about four hours. Currently, the boat can sail at a maximum speed of 10 nautical miles/hour, but this can be further increased to 25 nautical miles. Some variants of these boats use an electric propulsion system with lithium batteries, while others have a petrol engine on board.

The mission of Sagar Defence is “Boat in a Box” to facilitate easier and safer Unmanned Marine Surface Vehicles (UMSV), vessel command control technology, Navigational instruments and telemetry systems which will revolutionise the future.


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