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IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones

Source : News9

IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones
Sureshastra jet-powered fixed-wing kamikaze drones, made by Veda Aerospace, mounted on SUVs during test

IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones

The Indian Air Force on August 14 announced a Rs 300 crore contract with an Indian defence start-up for 200 swarm drones. This is the IAF’s first contract for swarm drones placed on an Indian firm.

The ‘Swarm- Unmanned Munition Systems’ (S-UMS) are catapult-launched jet-powered drones developed by Noida-based Veda Aeronautics Pvt Ltd. The IAF’s S-UMS will enable precision strikes on heavily protected enemy airbases, camps and vital installations without endangering manned fighter aircraft. The drones will be delivered in 12 months.

This is the single largest order ever awarded by the government of India to any Start Up for unmanned systems.
Both sides in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have deployed drones on an industrial scale. Russia has struck at Ukranian targets using hundreds of Iranian Shahed-136 kamikaze UAVs and its indigenous copy.

The IAF has been quick to learn from Europe’s deadliest war in 78 years. It located an Indian drone startup Veda Aeronautics which had developed the ‘Sureshastra- Mark 1’, an Indian version of the Shahed-136 and the Geran-2.

The Indian drone is 3.5 m long, has a 3 metre wingspan, and has an explosive warhead payload. It weighs nearly 90 kgs fully loaded and is catapult-launched. Each drone has a range of over 150 km and is designed to carry out long range strikes in concert with other drones using satellite navigation signals to fly to pre-programmed targets. Future variants of the drone will have extended ranges and could also be vehicle-launched and ship-launched.

This system could provide frontline protection for critical assets moving with mobile army units. The Indian army is currently looking for a Medium Range Precision Kill system with a range of around 60-80 km.

The IAF awarded the contract after conducting an extensive series of user trials in the Thar desert. The Delhi-based firm is one of the companies that participated in the 2018 Meher Baba swarm drone competition. The contest was set up to identify Indian companies who could provide swarming drones to the IAF.

Both India’s adversaries China and Pakistan are extensively using drones for overt and covert warfare. Drones from Pakistan are being used to carry narcotics, arms and ammunition into border states like Punjab, Rajasthan since 2020. Pakistan has also ramped up its military drone capabilities by inducting Turkish and Chinese-built drones.

China has deployed reconnaissance and cargo drones along the LAC with India ever since it deployed troops in Ladakh in 2020. Reports of palm-sized drones being deployed along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh have led the Indian Army to look for counter-drone technologies. IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones IAF signs Rs 300 crore deal with Indian Defence start-up Veda Aerospace for Kamikaze Swarm Drones IgMp

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