Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has inaugurated the ‘Bharat Drone Shakti-2023’ exhibition at Hindon in Ghaziabad district of Uttar Pradesh. During this event, the minister formally inducted the C-295 transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force (IAF), with top military officials, including IAF chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, in attendance.
The Indian Air Force and the Drone Federation of India co-hosted this two-day event, where the Indian drone industry showcased its capabilities with more than 50 live aerial demonstrations. These demonstrations featured a wide range of drones, including survey drones, agriculture drones, fire suppression drones, tactical surveillance drones, heavy-lift logistics drones, loitering munition systems, drone swarms, and counter-drone solutions. The event also witnessed participation from over 75 drone startups and corporates.
‘Bharat Drone Shakti-2023’ drew approximately 5,000 attendees, including representatives from the central government, state departments, public and private industries, the armed forces, paramilitary forces, delegates from friendly nations, academicians, students, and drone enthusiasts.
The C-295 transport aircraft, which was formally inducted into the IAF during the event, is expected to replace the Indian Air Force’s AVRO fleet. This induction marks another step in India’s commitment to becoming a global drone hub by 2030.
The Defence Ministry highlighted the increasing usage of drones in India, both in the military and civil domains. The IAF has been actively utilizing Remotely Piloted Aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations. The IAF’s trust in India’s emerging drone design and development capabilities is evident through initiatives like the Meher Baba Swarm Drone competition, which aims to tap into the indigenous drone potential.