Sources – Shephard

According to Shephard media, India’s first private UAV manufacturing facility has delivered over 20 Hermes 900 medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs to Israel.

Hyderabad-based Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India Ltd, a joint venture company between India’s Adani Defence and Aerospace and Israel’s Elbit Systems, became the first entity to manufacture the UAVs outside of Israel.

The UAVs were delivered complete with carbon composite Aerostructures manufactured at the 50,000 sq. ft Adani facility in Hyderabad.

The Hermes 900 is equipped with a variety of high performance sensors, allowing it to detect ground or maritime targets, over a wide spectral range. It can also be used for attacks on ground targets.

In addition to the UAVs sent to Israel, ADA has also received orders for two UAVs each from the Indian Navy and Indian Army.

India Received Drishti-10 Starliner MALE UAV

The Indian Navy on Jan 11 got its first indigenous medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) drone, the Drishti-10 Starliner unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which will boost its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.

Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said the drone will be a potent force multiplier in the Indian Ocean region that faces an array of security challenges. The Drishti-10 Starliner drone has been built by Adani Defence and Aerospace at its Hyderabad facility with technology transfer from Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems. The UAV is the first major defence platform to be delivered to the Indian military by Adani, and is a variant of Elbit Systems’ Hermes-900 Starliner drones.

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Kumar was in Hyderabad for the drone’s unveiling and accepting its delivery. It is the first of the four drones (two each) ordered by the navy and the army by invoking emergency financial powers. The remaining systems will be delivered in the coming months. The armed forces have a requirement for around 100 such drones.

“With state-of-the art sensors, enhanced endurance, advanced communication capabilities as well as new-age technologies like automatic take-off and landing, Drishti would be a potent force multiplier, adding capability and credibility in undertaking intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) across the Indian Ocean region,” the navy chief said in his address.

The navy’s challenges include China’s carefully calculated power play for influence, defending the rules-based international order, and the emergence of the Arabian Sea as a new front with tensions in the Red Sea escalating and piracy continuing to be a problem in the Gulf of Aden.

The navy has stepped up surveillance in the Arabian Sea substantially and deployed task groups consisting of around 10 warships in the face of rising threats.

The versatility and flexibility offered through modularity and mobility of ground support equipment would enable the navy to operate the Drishti drones from naval air stations across the country, Kumar said.

The all-weather Drishti 10 Starliner is 70% indigenous, has an endurance of 36 hours and can carry a payload of 450 kg, Adani Defence and Aerospace said in a statement. The UAV will be taken from Hyderabad to Porbandar for integration into naval operations, it said.