Last Updated: 16th January, 2021 09:55 IST
COAS Gen MM Naravane announced on the occasion of Army Day, how the defence forces will get SWITCH tactical drones as part of the modernization process
Indian Army is heading swiftly in its pursuit to get self-reliant and technologically sound. Chief of Army Staff General Naravane announced on the occasion of Army Day, how the defence forces are on a modernization plan for 5 years with all modern procurements being added to the Army and major deals that would make Indian Army a technology Centred force.
One of such additions to the Indian defence forces is the Switch tactical drones for which the Indian Army has struck a deal of 140 crores with Ideaforge Technology — especially for surveillance along LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
Army to receive indigenous SWITCH tactical drones at LAC
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 pixel. The drone can be operated with support from the Ground Control Station consisting of a high-range communication box, a hand-held controller for full camera control, and laptop/tablet for live video streaming and pre-flight checks.
The Indian Army will make these procurements from the Navi Mumbai-based Indian company for SWITCH. The number of drones to be supplied as part of this deal is likely to be in hundreds.
Before being selected, IdeaForge’s SWITCH UAV competed in Indian Army trials in Ladakh against offerings from Tata Group, Dynamatic Technologies Ltd, VTOL Aviation and Israel’s Elbit Systems. The Indian armed forces have inducted drones manufactured by IdeaForge in the past. However, this is the biggest single order the company has received from the Indian Armed Forces.
The 6.5-kilogram SWITCH drone is capable of vertical take-off, has an endurance of around 2 hours and an operational range of 15 kilometres. The UAV can be launched from an altitude of up to 4,000 meters above mean sea level and has a maximum operating altitude of around 1,000 meters above ground level.
Indian Army is enhancing its vigilance and communication with a strong Drone force. Many of these Drones were demonstrated at the annual Army Day parade in the Capital. They are capable of taking down a range of targets, ranging from tanks, terror camps, helipads and fuel dumps.
The demonstration, which consisted of 75 drones working autonomously to identify and take down targets with Kamikaze missions, is an early peek into future technology being developed by the Army in partnership with the private industry.
First Published: 16th January, 2021 09:55 IST