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Indian drone industry eyes commercial, defence sectors at Drone Festival 2022

Indian drone industry eyes commercial, defence sectors at Drone Festival 2022

The festival swamped with some big names such as Adani Defence and Aerospace, IdeaForge, MapmyIndia, Dassault Systèmes, and Esri, to name a few, representing an end-to-end drone and UAV ecosystem.

Indian drone industry eyes commercial, defence sectors at Drone Festival 2022 Indian drone industry eyes commercial, defence sectors at Drone Festival 2022

The new liberalised drone rules announced by the government in 2021 gave wings to the grounded drone industry. A glimpse of this could be seen at the two-day drone festival organised in New Delhi with over 150 companies -- from hardware to software to component OEMs showcasing their solutions. While drones are used for recreation, commercial and defence purpose, the former was missing with focus on the latter two.

The exhibition area was swamped with some big names such as Adani Defence and Aerospace, IdeaForge, MapmyIndia, Dassault Systèmes, and Esri, to name a few, representing an end-to-end drone and UAV ecosystem. Companies like Dassault Systèmes have a software platform which companies can conceptualize and design drones with and even seek the mandatory certification put in place by the government. Then there were GIS companies like ESRI and MapmyIndia. Drone manufacturers can use mapping and GIS location data from home-grown company MapmyIndia, which is also powering the government’s Digital Sky Platform. 

While the majority of the companies were displaying their drone technology, the Zen Anti-Drone System had showcased its drone countering setup. This included both a soft counter using nets and a hard counter where the drone can be shot down. Zen Technologies had also bagged an order worth Rs 155 crore for the anti-drone system from the Indian Airforce. There was also Bengaluru-based RC Dhamaka which had displayed components that go into drones.

Interestingly, Business Today spotted many officials of the Indian armed forces enquiring about the new technologies that they can evaluate and deploy. This two-day drone festival was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said that promotion of drone technology is another medium of advancing India's commitment to good governance and ease of living. 

He added, “Technology has helped a lot in furthering the vision of saturation and in ensuring last-mile delivery. And I know that we can achieve the goal of Antyodaya by moving forward at this pace."

Amidst all these developments in the Indian drone industry, research firm Research and Markets has estimated that India’s UAV market will be worth $1.81 billion (or Rs 13,575 crore) by FY26, while the Drone Federation of India estimates the industry to touch Rs 50,000 crore in the next five years. 

Agriculture, real estate, homeland security and defence will be the few areas that will be the biggest drivers for the industry, strategic defence procurements are not part of this estimate. That said, if the potential of drone delivery and drone taxis is unlocked quickly, the market will expand 10X.


 

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