The Need for Indigenous Drone Technology in Defence

The world we see around is can be seen in three different parts; nature and resources which support its ecosystem; humans as a species in terms of their existence and evolution; and societies, communities, nations and their subsequent interactions. This might seem very basic, but it’s the foundation of a very dynamic world which is constantly influenced across a multi-party geopolitical field. Policies, resource sharing, trading, sovereign ties, economies, etc. affect nature and humans not just at a macro, but also at the micro level.

It is, hence, imperative that we have geopolitical stability, as individual nations and as a collective. The first step would be establishing the importance of national sovereignty, prosperity and self-sustainability. This self-sustainability is no longer restricted to production and consumption of tangible resources. It now includes technology leadership.

Indigenous drone technology: An asset for the country

In 2018, India was the 4th highest military spender in the world. Over the next 5 to 7 years, India would spend around $130 billion to modernize its military.

Here, the reason behind the shift in gears in recent years. Tech can be a high-bargaining chip at any negotiation table. If your tech talks, people listen. And if it stands up head and shoulders above the rest while being completely indigenous, that’s people are ecstatic. The reason the edge you hold is now exclusive, non-replicable. It would help you bring in a new era of peace and stability.

The second step is to realize the importance of pure home-grown indigenous technology. This stands at the heart of the successful and visionary ‘Make in India’ initiative. Holding tech-leadership is like holding multiple cards ensuring eventual peace, safety and stability.

ideaForge has been one of the leaders in this regards bringing in the ‘edge’ with industry-benchmarking small and micro Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). There’s been a lot of talk about such UAVs or drones in recent times to make someone think that they just appeared around the block. On the contrary, these small and micro drones have been evolving over many years, the last ten of which have been steered by ideaForge. There have been widespread defence and enterprise applications developed and perfected over the years.

Before we move to these evolving indigenous applications of drones, let’s look under the hood for a minute.

Drone evolution: Forging the way ahead

Modern drones are light-weight and have high endurance. The old perception of these lightweight small and micro drones was restricted to recreational use. All that has changed. ideaForge, for one, has perfected its drone along high-stakes military standards right from having high flight time, IP53 certification, stability, automation, easy use and deployment, vertical take-off and landing, etc. It can be setup and put in the air from virtually anywhere (even at high altitudes). The entire Ground Control Station (GCS) including the drone, fits in a single bag.

High functionalities, applications and abilities have made this indigenous drone technology the watch-point for the world. Now, let’s jump back into how these drones have improved multiple defence services, initiatives and responsiveness in high-sensitive zones like the border.

Foresight and insights: Getting the strategic and operational advantage

It’s been said time and again that logistics is the key to winning in the field. But what is the key to ‘logistics’? It’s foresight, insight and planning. Logistics is nothing if not the ability to pre-plan exact and precise movement of resources, equipment and troops along the right and most efficient lines at the right time. It’s the intelligence procured through scouting and overview which enables this foresight.

Many-a-times manual surveillance and scouting is restricted to its own dimensions (like total coverage and time taken). Drones, here, ensure quick and sharp intelligence feedback to ensure seamless logistics movement even across tough terrains. For example, the operator can identify the best-routes for transport. They can even detect potential bottlenecks like landslides or snowed-in roads and help plan accordingly.

Resource multiplier: Adding efficiency and consistency to critical activities

One ever-present restriction within any defence force is the apt-utilization of resources. Drones help as a natural resource-multiplier. They can cover 10x more area in terms of surveillance or reconnaissance as compared to an average scout. This helps with repositioning essential troops for (other) critical activities. The added advantage of live reception of this surveillance through drones, in quick time, helps align preemptive actions for possible altercations along the border (or other potential hazards).

Regular and precise drone-enabled surveillance

There’s a lot to be said about surveillance, as you might have already seen. It helps establish control over covered territories. However, sometimes these territories hold an inherent risk for the surveyor or scout. Rough terrain like heavily forested or mountainous regions impedes direct ground surveillance. Stationary CCTV cameras also come-up short due to restricted view-angles. Furthermore, scouts at high altitudes are prone to occurrences of laboured breathing or even frostbite.

Drones, again are the natural support system for high-end and effective surveillance. ideaForge’s NETRA Pro has dual payloads, which means that it can carry two payloads at the same time. It helps deeper analytics and support. The payloads enable high-end visuals or thermal viewing for live insights. All the information feedback (to the home base) is totally encrypted.

Drone-led surveillance helps initiate quick and decisive action. It’s important to be ready and prepared to ‘act’ in any scenario. Herein lies in the strength of many activities – the element of ‘surprise’. Drone-enabled regular and timely surveillance of surroundings help take this surprise out of the equation.

In the past ideaForge drones have been instrumental in spotting and acting on fresh tunnelling along the border. This was achieved using high-end visuals invoking orthomosaic imagery and photogrammetry. The operator was able to detect minute terrain or vegetation changes to spot recent activities. This helped cut down the potential risk of cross-border movement and eliminate future escalations.

Live reconnaissance: Saving lives with 20-20 foresight

Drone-enabled reconnaissance improves the success rate of multiple campaigns while minimizing collateral damage in terms of possible surrounding population or soldiers/equipment. Such deep and live information from ground zero is an asset to military strategies. It also ensures safe movement of troops, resources and equipment through areas prone to hostile activities and threats. The operator can use thermal imaging through the drone to check out suspicious movement and activities down the road. This would minimize the chances of possible ambushes and attacks.

These small and micro UAVs can even lock onto the heat signature (or visuals) of a moving target and track it from the air. All this builds on to the ‘edge’ for defence services.

Counter-intelligence: Importance of indigenous drone technology

At the end of the day, it’s about having the upper hand which ends up saving lives and eliminating collateral damage. It also acts as a potential deterrent against an enemy.

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, it’s about attaining this ‘upper-hand’ with truly indigenous and advanced technology. This means that the tech built and bred within the country has created a much higher advantage in terms of on-ground strategy and geo-political standing. Companies like ideaForge help to reinstate this advantage.

Since ideaForge leads the world in high endurance, lightweight drones, it is able to transverse multiple weather and territorial conditions easily. Their manoeuvrability and stability, along with superior build and advanced ingrained technology, make them far better equipped than any similar equipment used by any opposing forces. The tech behind ideaForge drones has been enhanced through rigorous field-tests to detect and initiate action against illegal-drone usage in sensitive or no-fly zones.

Small and micro UAVs: The perfect catalyst for geopolitical stability

Intelligence is precious and is a deterrent against unlawful activities, either along the border or inland. Drones can be used to filter out anti-social elements inciting violence even within an unsuspecting crowd. It can spot and track their movement, all the while capturing in through live surveillance. Similarly, in situations with higher stakes, small UAVs with high endurance help nip hostile enemy plans in the bud saving. It helps direct resources and forces through the right scenarios at the right time.

Technology has truly become the new platform on which we structure the strategies of the present and the future. Drones are the perfect example of this evolutionary tech as they add efficiency, precision, scale, safety and control to key operations.



June 2022

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