New Delhi: The Indian Navy’s indigenous remotely-piloted aircraft Drishti-10 has undertaken its maiden flight after its induction last month.
Indian Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had flagged off the Adani Defence-made Drishti 10 Starliner medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in a ceremony in Hyderabad on 10 January.
Drishti 10 is based on the Israeli Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 MALE UAVs, and is currently being assembled at Adani Defence’s Hyderabad facility.
Adani Defence inaugurated this facility in 2018 to manufacture MALE UAVs under an agreement with Elbit for producing Hermes 900 and Hermes 450 drones, primarily for the export market.
With the capability of surveilling large areas for 36 hours straight and carrying a payload of 450 kg, the Drishti UAVs significantly enhance the long-range search and reconnaissance capabilities of both the army and navy.
Besides Navy, the Army has also placed orders for two of these drones from the firm under emergency provisions.
The Indian Army has plans to deploy the Drishti-10, which can cover a distance of 2,000 km, in the Punjab sector, including the desert sector.
The Indian Navy will position them in Porbandar to keep an eye on the maritime boundary with Pakistan.