The Indian Army has awarded a new contract to Indian tech firm IdeaForge to supply SWITCH UAV to enhance the country’s surveillance capabilities along its border with China and Pakistan.
The Indian company signed this contract after facing competition from France, Ukraine, Russia and Israel and others companies from India.
SWITCH UAV is an indigenous system built to cater for the most demanding surveillance operations of the Indian Forces. This Fixed Wing VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) UAV can be deployed at high altitude and harsh environments for day and night surveillance in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is man-portable and has the highest time on target compared to any other UAV in its class.
The Indian Army will soon be operating Indian UAVs for surveillance. Mumbai based ideaForge has won the contract to deliver 200 SWITCH UAVs to the Indian Army. This is the first single Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Mini UAV defence contract globally which the company has bagged. This comes close on the heels of the announcement in the Union Budget that around 68 percent of the defence capital procurement budget has been set aside for domestic procurement.
The Indian company signed this contract after facing competition from France, Ukraine, Russia and Israel and others companies from India. According to an official statement from the company, the SWITCH UAV was the only system that successfully completed rigorous testing and field trials conducted by the Indian Army.
For last mile deployments, earlier the understanding was that a Fixed Wing UAV would be the ideal solution. However, after analyzing the actual operational constraints faced by the Indian Army, the Indian company ideaForge worked on a Hybrid Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) platform. This system according to the company can be hand launched or take off without a runway and it is the ideal solution for the Indian Army.
Ankit Mehta, ideaForge Co-Founder and CEO says, “This product has been engineered with the unique VTOL approach, keeping in mind the terrain challenges in the operational areas of the Indian Army.”
Adding, “Our drones are ‘Built like a bird and tested like a tank’. This is an expression that has been coined as our systems were undergoing the harshest field trials and lab testing as a part of our journey to bagging this contract.”
The company is now working towards global market, for those who want to protect their borders or are looking to empower their forces with last mile situational awareness.
SWITCH features advanced flight time, higher safety and simple operation with additional fail-safe redundancies.
- Endurance : > 120 minutes
- Range (LoS): 15 km
- Weight: < 6.5 kg
- Wind Resistance: Up to 10.8 knots or 20 km/h
- Vehicle Size: ~ 2.6 m x 1.8 m
- Ingress Protection: IP53 Rated for Dust & Water Resistance
- Max Launch Altitude: 4000 m AMSL
- Max Operating Altitude: 1000 m AGL