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Indian Army signs USD 20 million contract to procure ‘SWITCH’ drones

A police drone hovers near Srinagar's Lal Chowk clock tower on Monday. The drones were used for surveillance and announcement to the general public to stay indoors. -- Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

To procure “undisclosed quantities” of a high-altitude variant of SWITCH unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) the Indian Army has signed a contract with ideaForge at a cost of approximately USD 20 million, according to a statement from the Mumbai-based company on Thursday.

“ideaForge has been awarded this contract after it emerged as the only vendor that qualified the operational requirements in an evaluation done in real-world conditions, for a fast-track procurement,” it mentioned.

 

“ideaForge has been awarded this contract after it emerged as the only vendor that qualified the operational requirements in an evaluation done in real-world conditions, for a fast-track procurement,” it mentioned.

This fixed-wing UAV, capable of vertical takeoff and landing, can be deployed at high altitude and harsh environments for day-and-night surveillance, said the statement.

The company said “undisclosed quantities of a high-altitude variant of ideaForge’s SWITCH UAV” will be delivered to the Indian Army over a period of one year.

The statement quoted ideaForge CEO Ankit Mehta saying that SWITCH UAV is the culmination of insights and knowledge the company has gained over years of experience in helping the Indian forces operationalise UAVs in their ranks.

“The trials saw about a dozen national and global players compete to meet the operational requirements. SWITCH UAV is the only product that cleared the Indian Army’s stringent product trials and surpassed expectations,” he noted