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Indian Army receives ‘swarming' UAVs

The Indian Army's newly acquired A-SADS system comprises two UAV models. (Janes/NewSpace Research & Technologies/Akshara Parakala)

The Indian Army has acquired its first batch of “swarming” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The acquisition follows a request for information (RFI) issued by the Indian Army in mid-2021. The USD15 million contract was won in September 2021 by Newspace Research & Technologies Pvt Ltd (NRT), a startup company based in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

Speaking to Janes , the company said it was “awarded the contract” under the fast-track procurement initiative of the Indian Army using new emergency procurement powers given to it in 2020. These powers were given to the army following rising tensions between India and China in the eastern Ladakh region.

NRT said it completed delivery of the contract by 2 March 2023. Janes has learnt that the contract covered the delivery of 100 UAVs.

Sameer Joshi, the founder of NRT, said that the “swarm” UAVs or autonomous surveillance and armed drone swarm (A-SADS) as they are known in the Indian Army, comprise the company's Beluga and Nimbus models of UAVs.

According to the company, these UAVs are within the maximum take-off weight (MToW) class of between five and 30 kg. According to information published by the company, the A-SADS has a radius of operation of 50 km, an endurance of three hours, and a service ceiling of 20,000 ft.

“The UAVs have applications for kinetic attack, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance(ISR), and as communications relays,” Joshi said.

The A-SADS are designed for heterogeneous operations, according to information published by NRT. The two types of UAVs can collaborate on tasks for multiple mission types, according to published company literature. Janes

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