What's new

Indian firm bags Army’s Rs 140-crore deal for high altitude UAVs, eyes exports too

Suriya

SENIOR MEMBER
Jul 23, 2017
3,005
-23
2,914
Country
India
Location
India
Indian firm bags Army’s Rs 140-crore deal for high altitude UAVs, eyes exports too
The Army has ordered an advanced version of SWITCH tactical drones, which are made to operate in high altitude areas like Ladakh. The delivery will take over a year.
SNEHESH ALEX PHILIP14 January, 2021 12:17 pm IST




ideaForge's SWITCH tactical drone. | Photo: Special arrangement
ideaForge's SWITCH tactical drone. | Photo: Special arrangement
Text Size: A- A+

New Delhi: The Army has awarded a $20 million deal (around Rs 140 crore) to an Indian firm, ideaForge, for an undisclosed number of the advanced version of SWITCH tactical drones.
These specialised drones are made to operate in high altitude areas like Ladakh, for use by infantry soldiers and Special Forces. India has been engaged in a border stand-off with China at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh region since April-May last year.


The niche drone maker won the contract after competing with Israel’s top UAV manufacturer Elbit, besides the Tata Group, Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, Asteria Aerospace and VTOL Aviation.
The firm will deliver the systems, which are used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), over a period of one year, according to a company statement Thursday.


“ideaForge has been awarded this contract after it emerged as the only vendor that qualified the operational requirements in an evaluation done in real-world conditions, for a fast-track procurement,” the statement said. It added that the contract marks a strategic shift in the Indian defence procurement process as the Army goes on an aggressive modernisation drive.
The drone details
The standard man portable SWITCH weighs 6.5 kg and is capable of vertical take-off, conventional flight with an endurance of 2 hours. It can carry out surveillance up to 15 km from altitudes of 4,000 meters. It has a maximum operating altitude of 1000 metres and has a wind resistance up to 10.8 knots or 20 km per hour.


The SWITCH is a Fixed Wing VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) UAV which can be deployed at high altitude and harsh environments for day and night surveillance in ISR missions. It has a daylight payload of 1280×720 pixels, 25x Optical Zoom and has a thermal payload of 640×480 pixels.

However, the Army has ordered an advanced version of this drone, which comes with extended endurance and covers 700 sq km from each take off point. It comes with encrypted communication and long range target detection with HD optical zoom payload.


ideaForge aims for exports
Speaking to ThePrint, ideaForge chief executive Ankit Mehta said the firm was “super excited” about the deal, adding that the SWITCH UAV is the only product that cleared the Army’s stringent product trials and surpassed expectations.


“It is a testimony of the fact that our systems are built like a bird and tested like a tank. Our systems are fully ready to serve nations that seek to protect their territorial sovereignty,” he said.


Asked if he is also looking at exports, Mehta said the company is in talks with certain countries. He added that the Army’s contract will push its case before other nations since everyone is aware of how stringent Indian defence trials are.

“We are keen on exports. Everyone understands that Indian trails are vigorous. We have had consultations and demonstrations for some other countries too,” he said. Mehta added that the indigenous content of the system is “much higher” than the requirements stated by the Services.

The company is backed by institutional investors such as WRVI, Infosys and Qualcomm.


Indian firm bags Army's Rs 140-crore deal for high altitude UAVs, eyes exports too (theprint.in)
 

Shabi1

FULL MEMBER
Apr 17, 2006
1,711
5
2,550
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Point to ponder, could have bought similar spec off of Aliexpress. In fact the one on Aliexpress boasts higher MTOW and payload as well as a very good cruising speed. Higher cruising speed means it has the power tackle wind sheer effectively.

Nevertheless congrats PA will get something else to shoot down instead of rebranded DJI drones.


1.png

2.png


 

Suriya

SENIOR MEMBER
Jul 23, 2017
3,005
-23
2,914
Country
India
Location
India
Point to ponder, could have bought similar spec off of Aliexpress. In fact the one on Aliexpress boasts higher MTOW and payload as well as a very good cruising speed. Higher cruising speed means it has the power tackle wind sheer effectively.

Nevertheless congrats PA will get something else to shoot down instead of rebranded DJI drones.
The niche drone maker won the contract after competing with Israel’s top UAV manufacturer Elbit, besides the Tata Group, Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, Asteria Aerospace and VTOL Aviation.
 
Last edited:

Suriya

SENIOR MEMBER
Jul 23, 2017
3,005
-23
2,914
Country
India
Location
India
And resistance of just 20 km/hr and area of use is ladakh ??? Good luck with that
However, the Army has ordered an advanced version of this drone, which comes with extended endurance and covers 700 sq km from each take off point. It comes with encrypted communication and long range target detection with HD optical zoom payload.
 

JamD

FULL MEMBER
Mar 26, 2015
1,209
50
3,270
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Point to ponder, could have bought similar spec off of Aliexpress. In fact the one on Aliexpress boasts higher MTOW and payload as well as a very good cruising speed. Higher cruising speed means it has the power tackle wind sheer effectively.

Nevertheless congrats PA will get something else to shoot down instead of rebranded DJI drones.


View attachment 706743
View attachment 706744

This decision is actually good for India in several ways:
1. An Indian company has been given contract that may lead to future orders
2. It creates Indian jobs
3. Indian taxpayer money is used to generate Indian jobs as opposed to supporting foreign jobs.
4. It might kickstart a stable local supply chain that (over time) will beat out any foreign or state-owned enterpise option.

Governments giving defense contracts to private companies is how you get Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon. We should be aping this model, not criticizing it.
 

Shabi1

FULL MEMBER
Apr 17, 2006
1,711
5
2,550
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
This decision is actually good for India in several ways:
1. An Indian company has been given contract that may lead to future orders
2. It creates Indian jobs
3. Indian taxpayer money is used to generate Indian jobs as opposed to supporting foreign jobs.
4. It might kickstart a stable local supply chain that (over time) will beat out any foreign or state-owned enterpise option.

Governments giving defense contracts to private companies is how you get Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon. We should be aping this model, not criticizing it.
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon all got to where they are through innovation and making practical, efficient and cutting edge products no one else could make.

Yes its a achievement and they will be saving money by not buying from a established defence supplier but it is nothing worthy to boast about and specially not something worth making a new topic on PDF, these VTOL drones are used for delivery and available off the shelf commercial products, anyone with decent electronics knowledge and spare cash to burn can order these off of the internet and assemble or modify. Amazon is using them and even people in Africa using to deliver medicines. What the Indian company is doing is, If you don't use the full available payload capacity you get the the extra thrust needed to overcome wind sheer. Indian companies are already known to rebrand and sell DJI drone models to Indian armed forces. PA shoots them down so often that they arn't even breaking news now.

Practicality point of view a catapult assisted launch UAV with parachute landing is the norm and most efficient UAV for such applications. This works because people handling the UAV will be trained individuals and landing takeoff point will be fixed secure point. You are wasting precious energy that could have been used for added loiter and adding weight of vertical motor arrangement just for VTOL feature.

What you can't buy are armed variants, if it where a VTOL UCAV then it would have been worth sharing as news but again not enough to start a thread on PDF.
 
Last edited:

JamD

FULL MEMBER
Mar 26, 2015
1,209
50
3,270
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon all got to where they are through innovation and making practical, efficient and cutting edge products no one else could make.
Sure but that is not the only reason they were able to flourish as business. What stops Pakistan's version of these companies from existing? Is it that Pakistanis as a people lack innovation and cannot create new and useful products? No. It is because only the government gives out defense contracts and our government gives out very very very few defense contracts to private businesses as opposed to the US DoD that has a long history of defense contracts to private defense firms. LM Boeing Ratheon will shut down if there are no contracts to keep them running (obviously). The magical power of "innovation" is not enough to run businesses.


Yes its a achievement and they will be saving money by not buying from a established defence supplier but it is nothing worthy to boast about and specially not something worth making a new topic on PDF, these VTOL drones are used for delivery and available off the shelf commercial products, anyone with decent electronics knowledge and spare cash to burn can order these off of the internet and assemble or modify. Amazon is using them and even people in Africa using to deliver medicines. What the Indian company is doing is, If you don't use the full available payload capacity you get the the extra thrust needed to overcome wind sheer. Indian companies are already known to rebrand and sell DJI drone models to Indian armed forces. PA shoots them down so often that they arn't even breaking news now.

Practicality point of view a catapult assisted launch UAV with parachute landing is the norm and most efficient UAV for such applications. This works because people handling the UAV will be trained individuals and landing takeoff point will be fixed secure point. You are wasting precious energy that could have been used for added loiter and adding weight of vertical motor arrangement just for VTOL feature.

What you can't buy are armed variants, if it where a VTOL UCAV then it would have been worth sharing as news but again not enough to start a thread on PDF.
It's not about saving money right now. If that was the case nobody in the world would buy anything but Chinese. It is about measured protectionism of your own industry and down the road you have your own sovereign production line that may or may not be cheaper but is secure and gives your country men jobs. I will repeat that this is an admirable goal (and something Pakistan does very little of).

As far as not being important enough to open threads, well it's not fake news or propaganda, and at least one member (me) was interested in this piece of news. Besides, an important function of PDF is to keep an eye on the Indian defense industry. So I see no problem with this thread.
 

Han Patriot

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 23, 2011
10,325
-19
15,810
Country
China
Location
Singapore
Point to ponder, could have bought similar spec off of Aliexpress. In fact the one on Aliexpress boasts higher MTOW and payload as well as a very good cruising speed. Higher cruising speed means it has the power tackle wind sheer effectively.

Nevertheless congrats PA will get something else to shoot down instead of rebranded DJI drones.


View attachment 706743
View attachment 706744

I was thinking it was a CH4 classed drone, when I saw the toy plane, I rofl like fck. Lol
 

Shabi1

FULL MEMBER
Apr 17, 2006
1,711
5
2,550
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
Sure but that is not the only reason they were able to flourish as business. What stops Pakistan's version of these companies from existing? Is it that Pakistanis as a people lack innovation and cannot create new and useful products? No. It is because only the government gives out defense contracts and our government gives out very very very few defense contracts to private businesses as opposed to the US DoD that has a long history of defense contracts to private defense firms. LM Boeing Ratheon will shut down if there are no contracts to keep them running (obviously). The magical power of "innovation" is not enough to run businesses.



It's not about saving money right now. If that was the case nobody in the world would buy anything but Chinese. It is about measured protectionism of your own industry and down the road you have your own sovereign production line that may or may not be cheaper but is secure and gives your country men jobs. I will repeat that this is an admirable goal (and something Pakistan does very little of).

As far as not being important enough to open threads, well it's not fake news or propaganda, and at least one member (me) was interested in this piece of news. Besides, an important function of PDF is to keep an eye on the Indian defense industry. So I see no problem with this thread.
I don't think you follow Pakistan's defence exhibitions we have a pretty good drone private sector and because of price competitiveness it's thriving on exports to middle East and couple of years back even sold to US border management.
Building something yourself is risky as the product might fail but take the risk and do it yourself for three reasons.
1. What you need doesn't exist.
2. What you want is available but they are not willing to sell it to you.
3. You think you can make it cheaper yourself.
If above three are not met and you still spend time and money to build a product it's bad planning. For indiginisation argument if the volume exists can negotiate local license production and win win for everyone.

In this case they would be saving money building locally but again the main issue is claiming to invent something that is already there and boasting about is not innovation it is ego and arrogance. And what makes it worse is they've been buying off the shelf drones and rebranding as own.
 
Last edited:

rent4country

FULL MEMBER
Jul 31, 2020
874
0
455
Country
United States
Location
United States
I don't think you follow Pakistan's defence exhibitions we have a pretty good drone private sector and because of price competitiveness it's thriving on exports to middle East and couple of years back even sold to US border management.
Building something yourself is risky as the product might fail but take the risk and do it yourself for three reasons.
1. What you need doesn't exist.
2. What you want is available but they are not willing to sell it to you.
3. You think you can make it cheaper yourself.
If above three are not met and you still spend time and money to build a product it's bad planning. For indiginisation argument if the volume exists can negotiate local license production and win win for everyone.

In this case they would be saving money building locally but again the main issue is claiming to invent something that is already there and boasting about is not innovation it is ego and arrogance. And what makes it worse is they've been buying off the shelf drones and rebranding as own.
We have never bought any drone from Pakistan for our border patrol needs or any drone from Pakistan, for that matter. Stop making such false claims kindly. Aside from that, it's pretty clear you are a bit ill-informed on why building your private ecosystem is always the best way to go on critical technologies. Critical not just in terms of technology but also national security.

1. you build (if it's a mainstay of one's military) even if it exists elsewhere- so you are not dependent on others and to be eventually better than others
2. You build anything that is an important need, even if someone is willing to sell it to you, because eventually it will more cost-effective, and you will create an export industry_ earning you $$$
3. Never in any countries history has developing ones own private military industries been "cheaper" at first
 
Last edited:

Shabi1

FULL MEMBER
Apr 17, 2006
1,711
5
2,550
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
1. you build (if it's a mainstay of one's military) even if it exists elsewhere- so you are not dependent on others and to be eventually better than others
Condition one. You want it to be better then others so final product is not available:
What you need doesn't exist.

2. You build anything that is an important need, even if someone is willing to sell it to you, because eventually it will more cost-effective, and you will create an export industry_ earning you $$$
Condition 3
3. You think you can make it cheaper yourself.

3. Never in any countries history has developing ones own private military industries been "cheaper" at first
That is why we have tenders.

As a case study there is the harrier jump jet and JSF projects.

Can do your own searching on above company. Product exported is the border eagle drone. Again selected because was cost effective.
 

rent4country

FULL MEMBER
Jul 31, 2020
874
0
455
Country
United States
Location
United States
1. you build (if it's a mainstay of one's military) even if it exists elsewhere- so you are not dependent on others and to be eventually better than others
Condition one. You want it to be better then others so final product is not available:
What you need doesn't exist.

2. You build anything that is an important need, even if someone is willing to sell it to you, because eventually it will more cost-effective, and you will create an export industry_ earning you $$$
Condition 3
3. You think you can make it cheaper yourself.

3. Never in any countries history has developing ones own private military industries been "cheaper" at first
That is why we have tenders.

As a case study there is the harrier jump jet and JSF projects.

Can do your own searching on above company. Product exported is the border eagle drone. Again selected because was cost-effective.
You are not grasping the simple economics of making critical technologies, military assets through your own industries, and it always costs more to start one's own ecosystem.

Your link is a generic blah blah page by some company in Pakistan, and It does not prove/show or speak specifically that our Border patrol bought any drones from Pakistan, a claim you made earlier. Please kindly stop spreading such tall claims. There is no eagle drone or any drone we purchased from Pakistan. P.S for us cost-effective is paying a few million versus 100's of millions. We buy top technologies.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 3, Members: 1, Guests: 2)


Top Bottom