Adani Defence & Aerospace (ADA) handed over its first Made in India Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drone, the Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), to the Indian Navy at its Hyderabad facility on Wednesday. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar launched the advanced UAV, showcasing a significant stride towards achieving strategic autonomy and technological prowess in high-endurance, combat-proven, and indigenously developed advanced aerial systems.
Drishti 10 ‘Starliner’ is an advanced Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform featuring a 36-hour endurance, a 450 kg payload capacity, unique STANAG 4671 certification for all-weather military operations, and approval for flying in both segregated and unsegregated airspace.
The Chief of Naval Staff termed it a momentous occasion and transformative step in India’s quest for self-reliance in ISR technology and maritime supremacy.
“Adani Group has demonstrated its commitment to unmanned systems, having worked systematically over the last many years to develop local capabilities not limited to manufacturing but sustenance through MRO. Drishti 10’s integration into our naval operations will enhance our naval capabilities, strengthening our preparedness for the ever-evolving maritime surveillance and reconnaissance,” Admiral R Hari Kumar said.
The commencement ceremony took place in the presence of 75 Navy personnel, and the UAV is slated for induction into maritime operations in Porbandar. Admiral Hari Kumar praised Adani for aligning their strategic plans with the precise requirements of the Indian Navy. He acknowledged their dedication to establishing a collaborative ecosystem with partners and capabilities, promoting self-reliance (Atmanirbharta) in defence and security.
“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 remaining agile, adaptable and ahead of the curve,” the CNS observed while addressing the gathering.
*While Bharatiya Nausena (Indian Navy) has been operating UAVs over the last two decades, the development of Drishti symbolises the Navy’s ‘Vision’ to be an Aatmanirbhar (self-reliance) and ‘Future-Proof’ force. Our commitment to the indigenisation of such sophisticated and niche platforms also cements our stature as a trailblazer amongst the Armed Forces in adopting and integrating pole-vaulting technologies,” he added.
Detailing about UAV’s features, the Naval Chief said, “with state-of-the-art sensors, enhanced endurance, advanced communication capabilities as well as new-age technologies like Automatic Take Off and Landing (ATOL), Drishti would be a potent force multiplier, adding capability and credibility in undertaking Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) across the Indian Ocean Region. Additionally, the versatility and flexibility offered through modularity and mobility of ground support equipment would enable us to operate Drishti from naval air stations across India.”
Speaking on the occasion, Ashish Rajvanshi, CEO of Adani Defence & Aerospace, expressed his gratitude to the Indian Navy for believing in them and giving them the opportunity to serve the Indian Armed Forces, stated, “the flag-off of Drishti 10 Starliner UAV is a watershed moment in our journey towards self-sufficiency and indigenisation of advanced technologies. This event marks a significant transformation in India’s roadmap towards strategic autonomy and technological leadership in unmanned capabilities. Our on-time delivery to the Indian Navy is a testament to our robust quality management processes and excellent support from our partners who have worked diligently over the last 10 months from contract to delivery and ensured more than 70% indigenisation.”
Jeet Adani, Vice President of Adani Enterprises, said, “Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms across land, air and naval borders are a key priority for Adani, which will help serve the needs of the Indian Armed forces and also place India on the global map for exports. We are proud to be able to serve the Indian Navy and their requirements.”
Adani Defence has established India’s first unmanned aerial vehicle manufacturing facility. It is currently setting up India’s comprehensive aircraft MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) facility, adhering to international safety and airworthiness standards. In response to the escalating menace of rogue drones, Adani Defence is actively developing counter-drone systems for both defence and civilian applications.