Indian Army Awards Contract to Homegrown Drone-Maker ‘Johnnette’

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The drone’s rugged design ensures reliable use in harsh environments, and its lightweight, compact size makes it easily backpackable and hand-launched. 

Johnnette Technologies, an Indian unmanned systems manufacturer based in Noida, has been awarded a contract by the Indian Army to supply the Johnnette JF-2, a tactical fixed-wing UAV. This drone is notable for being India’s first crash-resistant model, marking a significant achievement in the country’s move towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

Established in 2014 by Lt Cdr John Livingstone, a retired Indian Navy officer, Johnnette Technologies has been a key player in developing advanced unmanned systems for both military and commercial purposes in India. The company’s endeavours are in line with the ‘Make in India’ initiative championed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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With an operational range of up to 17 km and a flight time of up to 90 minutes, this drone is particularly effective for extended missions. Performance-wise, the JF-2 can reach a cruise speed of 40 km/hr and a maximum speed of 60 km/hr, with a maximum flight altitude between 300 to 600 metres above ground level and a launch altitude of up to 3000 metres above sea level. Its data link range extends up to 10 km and it’s field-tested for operating temperatures ranging from -20° to 50° C. 

Its rugged design ensures reliable use in harsh environments, and its lightweight, compact size makes it easily backpackable and hand-launched. With 80% indigenous content, it underscores a commitment to self-reliance in defence technology. 

Since its inception in November 2014, Johnnette Technologies Pvt Ltd. has been a pioneer in unmanned systems technology in India. The company has consistently provided advanced aerospace systems to various sectors, including paramilitary, commercial, aerospace, and defence, with a focus on unmanned technology. 

Alongside the Johnnette JF-2, the company produces low-cost loitering munitions (suicide drones) and has plans to develop medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) in the future. Johnnette Technologies’ innovative work highlights the increasing role of domestic companies in fulfilling the evolving needs of India’s armed forces.

 

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