HomeIndian DefenceNavy gets its first India-made drones from Adani Defence

Navy gets its first India-made drones from Adani Defence

The Indian Navy on Wednesday received its first locally made medium altitude long endurance drones, which were contracted using emergency financial powers last year, marking the first major weapons delivery by the Adani Group.

The drones will enhance surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in the Arabian Sea, said Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar.

The drones – Drishti 10 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as Elbit Hermes 900 – have been manufactured at Hyderabad facility of Adani Defence and Aerospace which is being expanded to a manufacturing hub for missiles and UAVs.

The Adani Group has ambitious plans for the defence sector, with a portfolio spanning drones and counter drone systems to arms and ammunition.

While the drones are being produced in partnership with Israel’s Elbit Systems, the Adani Group said 70% of the drone has been indigenised. The Hyderabad facility has in the past exported around 20 locally manufactured drones.

Screenshot 2024-01-10 235719

The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform with 36 hours’ endurance and 450 kg payload capacity will now be taken to Porbandar for final tests before being inducted for maritime operations.

A total of four drones have been ordered by the armed forces – two each by the army and navy – using emergency financial powers granted by the defence ministry last year. The combined value of the deals is around ₹550 crore. The army is expected to receive its first drone within the next three months.

There is, however, a larger requirement for this category of drones in the armed forces, with a case being processed to acquire 97 such platforms, including 20 for Navy. “This is a momentous occasion and a transformative step in India’s quest for self-reliance in ISR technology and maritime supremacy,” Kumar said at the commencement ceremony.

Adani Defence and Aerospace CEO Ashish Rajvanshi said the on-time delivery of the drone to the Navy was conducted within 10 months of signing the contract, and described Adani Aerospace Park in Hyderabad as the country’s first final assembly line in the private sector for military grade unmanned systems, tactical and loitering drones.

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