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Indian Navy to induct Hermes 900 Starliner

A Hermes 900 in maritime configuration. The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner UAVs by the end of February. (Elbit Systems)

The Indian Navy will induct two Hermes 900 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by the end of February, a spokesperson for the Indian Navy told Janes on 10 January.

Elbit Systems' Hermes 900 Starliner is manufactured in India by Adani Defence and Aerospace under the name ‘Drishti 10' for Indian customers. Drishti 10 was unveiled on 10 January in the presence of India's Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar.

The Indian Navy spokesperson said the Drishti 10 UAVs will be handed over to the service in Porbandar, located along the coast of the Arabian Sea in the western state of Gujarat.

“Indian Navy personnel are currently undergoing training provided by Adani officials to efficiently operate the Drishti 10 UAVs,” the spokesperson added.

In his address at the unveiling ceremony, Adm Kumar said the UAV will be a “force multiplier” for the Indian Navy, undertaking intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations across the Indian Ocean.

He emphasised “the importance of autonomous systems in the rapidly evolving and dynamic tech-infused wars of the contemporary world”.

“Autonomous systems are becoming a preferred choice in the order of battle for nations across the globe,” he said, adding, “[China and Pakistan] collectively hold a very large inventory of UAVs” making it necessary for the Indian Armed Forces to expand its own assets and capabilities in this area.

Indian media reported that the Indian Army is also procuring two Drishti 10 UAVs, which will be delivered to the service by April. The Indian Army and Adani had not responded to Janes

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