The Army has awarded a Rs.140 crore deal to an Indian firm, ideaForge, for an advanced version of “Switch” tactical drones, which are small enough to be used by infantry soldiers and special forces deployed in highaltitude areas like Ladakh. The ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) drone systems will be delivered over a period of one year by idea-Forge, which won the competition against some foreign and domestic companies.
The Army has ordered an unspecified number of the advanced version of the Switch fixed-wing VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) unmanned aerial vehicle, each of which weighs around 6.5-kg. The armed forces are going in for the fresh acquisition of a wide variety of drones, from hand-launched mini ones to fighter-size armed ones. The Navy has also leased two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones for long-range ISR missions over the Indian Ocean Region.