Army awards $20 Million deal to an Indian Firm
The Army awards $20 Million deal to an Indian Firm, ideaForge for advanced version of SWITCH tactical Drones. The firm will deliver the systems to be used in high altitude regions for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) over a period of one year.
The standard man portable SWITCH weighs 6.5 kg. It is a Fixed Wing VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) with endurance of 2 hours. Drones can be used for day-night surveillance up to 15 km from take off point from altitudes of 4000 meters. It has maximum operating altitude of 1000 meters, wind resistance up to 10.8 knots or 20 kilometers per hour. It comes with encrypted communication and long-range target detection with HD optical zoom payload. Development of this drone is a part of Army’s modernization drive.
Since India is indulged in border stand-off with China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, these drones will be customized to operate in such hilly regions. Tata group, Dynamite Technologies Ltd, Asteria Aerospace, VTOL Aviation and Israel’s top UAV manufacturer Elbit were the prominent bidders for this contract.
Ankit Mehta, the Chief Executive of ideaForge said that the company is in talks with some countries, and they’re also planning the export of these drones. Qualcomm, Infosys and WRVI are the prominent investors in this company.
The 2nd edition of a 2-day multi-agency exercise ‘Sea Vigil’
The 2nd edition of a 2-day multi-agency exercise ‘Sea Vigil’ focused on India’s preparedness to deal with the maritime challenges including contingencies from peace to war time. The exercise was initiated in January 2019, in order to plug the gaps that resulted in Mumbai Terror Attacks of 2008. The exercise saw participation of entire coastal security apparatus- Indian Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Police and Customs Department along entire coastline and India’s exclusive economic zone.
Security mechanisms of ports was validated, and their crisis management plans were assessed. The entire exercise saw drills by state police teams, Indian Navy Marine commandos and NSG commandos to tackle maritime terrorism. The exercise also validated technical surveillance infrastructure called the National Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence (NC3I) Network. Services of Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) at Gurugram and its various nodes across Indian Navy and Coast Guard stations were also assessed. The significance of exercise is more evident at a time when India and China are engaged in a face-off.
The exercise shows emboldened Indian Armed Forces in maritime domain and makes a point that Indian Navy is prepared to tackle challenges in Indian Ocean region.
Union Cabinet Approved the 46000 crores deal of Tejas Fighter Jet
As India is moving ahead with procurement of 73 Tejas Mk1A and 10 Mk1 Fighter jets powered by American Engine, DRDO is in talks with French and British Partners to develop engine of 110 kn thrust class to power its 5.5th generation AMCA program. This is because General Electric has backed out from giving India its Intellectual Property Rights to its core technologies and has even denied to transfer Core technology for its F-414 based engine for AMCA program.
Development of engine was a part of discussion when Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to French President, visited India few days ago. Senior officials of Rolls-Royce Defence also confirmed about the ongoing talks regarding Transfer of Technology and Intellectual Property Rights with India.
TEDBF and MWF-Mk2 will be initially powered by American GE 414 engines with 98 Kn thrust engine from 2038-40 onwards. Thus, new engines need to be developed in 7 years. IAF has agreed to procure 40 AMCA Mk1 with F414 engine that will be locally licensed manufactured by HAL. It will approximately take 30 years to manufacture 1000+ engines for all three fighter jet programs, giving huge boost to the companies involved in its development.