Indian Navy Receives Drishti 10

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The Indian Navy has received the first locally-produced Drishti 10 Starliner unmmaned aerial vehicle (UAV). The drone is a locally-manufactured variant based on the Hermes 900 Starliner from Israel’s Elbit Systems with 70% indigenous components and a service ceiling of 30,000 feet. The Starliner is a highly advanced all-weather medium altitude long endurance (MALE) intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform with a 36-hour endurance and 450kg payload capacity, the drones can be armed if necessary. With sensors and automated take-off and landing, the Drishti can be controlled from naval air stations across India via modularity and highly-mobile ground support equipment.

India’s Chief of Naval Staff Adm R Hari Kumar stated that the Drishti would serve as force multipliers while undertaking ISR operations across the Indian Ocean. “Today, autonomous systems are becoming a preferred choice in the order of battle for nations across the globe. Both our immediate neighbours collectively hold a very large inventory of UAVs. Therefore, it is only prudent that we, as a nation, and as armed forces, continue to harness our resident expertise in this domain, by agile, adaptable and ahead of the curve,” Adm Kumar added.

The Indian Army would reportedly acquire a pair of Drishti 10s by April as the Indian Armed Forces has a requirement for as many as 100 units of these drones. The Indian Navy has considerably increased surveillance in the Arabian Sea and deployed warships, patrol aircraft, helicopters along with surveillance drones accordingly. Aside from that, piracy in the Gulf of Aden is also a prominent issue.

According to the Indian Navy, the Drishti 10 drones will be handed over to them in Porbandar located along the Arabian Sea coast as personnel undergo the necessary training to operate the UAVs. The training is provided by the manufacturer, Adani Defence and Aerospace, which established India’s first UAV and private firearms factory and is currently in the process of having the first comprehensive aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. shp/adj/dl (Pix:Elbit Systems)