The Indian army has made a pact with local tech firm IdeaForge to supply additional SWITCH 1.0 drones. The drones will intensify India’s surveillance capabilities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to trace Chinese activities.
The SWITCH 1.0 is an indigenous drone designed by a Mumbai-based firm for challenging surveillance expeditions. These drones can perform as the forces’ eyes on the ground in severe atmospheric conditions. In January 2021, the Indian Army signed a $20 million contract to buy a SWITCH drone high altitude variant from the corporate. In November prime minister Narendra Modi formally transferred the SWITCH UAV to the Indian army.
Ankit Mehta, the CEO of IdeaForge said, “We are thrilled by the impact created by SWITCH UAVs in serving our nation and maintaining the sovereignty of Indian territory.”
When it comes to the features of the drone, its weight is 6.5kg, and its maximum flight time constitutes 2 hours. Its launching altitude is 4000m and its maximum operating altitude is 1000m. The drone is of 1280 x 720 pixel, 25x optical zoom daylight camera, and 640 x 480-pixel infrared camera. Wind resistance is 20km/h. The standard man-portable SWITCH is capable of vertical takeoff, much like a helicopter.
The fresh contract is for an advanced version of the drone for the Army’s special forces and infantry. The new drones will have extended endurance and a canopy of 700 sq. km from each take-off spot. It also includes encrypted communication and long-range target detection, with an HD optical zoom payload. The reorder came after the magnificent performance of the drone operating at high altitude conditions. In addition to surveillance, the aircraft can present various tasks such as security, anti-terror operations.
Besides tactical drones, the Army also bought larger UAVs like the Israeli Heron and a set of four improved versions of Heron 2. Additionally, The Indian military is also carrying out surveillance through satellites and using specialized aircraft, like the p8i of the Indian navy. In December India began deploying upgraded L-70 anti-aircraft guns along the Sino-Indian border. India has also announced plans to procure a lightweight low-level radar to strengthen its threat detection capabilities.