In view of the Make in India policy of the Indian government, the Indian Army has launched a programme called ‘Him Drone-a-thon’. Drone Federation of India collaborated with the Indian Army to unveil this event on Monday. The programme aims to sustainably connect all the stakeholders across India. It includes drone product manufacturers, industry, academia and software developers. It will be conducted in stages with quantifiable parameters like altitude, weight, range, endurance etc., being gradually upgraded based on demonstrated capabilities.
As stated by the Indian Army, this initiative aims to provide focused opportunities to the Indian drone ecosystem. It will catalyze the development of unique drone capabilities needed for frontline troops. In order to get the industry responses, the Indian Army has planned interactions & ideation between users, development agencies, academia etc. Officials explained that there will be visits to various operational locations by the development agencies. It will help them get an insight into the ground perspective & needs.
Needless to say, the manufacturing potential in motors and the sensory elements of electronics is huge. But it remains a relatively untouched sector in the Indian components manufacturing industry. The Army rightly pushes for building key capabilities in the field of drone manufacturing in India.
The Indian Army believes in the principle that ‘good available indigenously’ is better than the ‘best available globally’. Our domestic industry has enough expertise in this domain, and with a firm push, we will be able to manufacture world-class products soon.
An army official said that the recent procurements by the Indian Army were indicative of its efforts to further encourage the indigenous drone ecosystem. Meanwhile, Indian startup ideaForge lately exhibited potential for military-grade drone aircraft manufacturing.
To encourage domestic drone manufacturing, we have prohibited the import of drones and components to a large extent. This is also done to enhance the investment in this market.