Adani’s Drishti 10 Starliner: A transformative leap in Indian Naval capabilities

Adani’s Drishti 10 Starliner: Redefining Naval Dynamics. Innovating UAV Excellence, it becomes India’s ‘Third Eye’ in the Sky, uniquely enhancing battlefield insight and safeguarding national security with unprecedented precision.

Indian Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar unveiled the first-ever domestically manufactured Drishti 10 Starliner Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with an impressive endurance of 36 hours. Adani Defence and Aerospace are the manufacturers of this UAV, and the flag-off ceremony was presided over by Chief Guest Admiral R Hari Kumar (PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC), who serves as the Chief of the Naval Staff. This drone, designed for integration into naval maritime activities, commenced its journey from Hyderabad and reached its destination in Porbandar, Gujarat.

Marking a significant milestone, the Drishti 10 Starliner represents the initial delivery among a total order of four drones—two designated for the Navy and two for the Army. This procurement was facilitated through the activation of emergency financial powers. The subsequent deliveries of the remaining systems are scheduled in the upcoming months.

This acquisition is part of a broader strategic initiative, as the armed forces have identified a need for approximately 100 similar drones. By invoking emergency financial powers, the military has expedited the acquisition process, ensuring a swift and responsive approach to meeting their requirements for advanced unmanned aerial vehicles shortly.

 

Challenges faced by the Navy

The Indian Navy is currently grappling with a set of complex challenges, including China’s strategic manoeuvres to expand its influence, the imperative to uphold the rules-based international order, and the evolving dynamics in the Arabian Sea. The escalation of tensions in the Red Sea and the persistent issue of piracy in the Gulf of Aden further add to the navy’s concerns.

In response to these challenges, the navy has significantly heightened surveillance efforts in the Arabian Sea. To counter rising threats, task groups comprising approximately 10 warships have been deployed, reflecting a proactive approach to bolstering maritime security. The naval arsenal includes a diverse range of assets such as P-8I maritime surveillance aircraft, Sea Guardian remotely piloted aircraft, Dorniers, helicopters, and coast guard ships, collectively working towards fortifying the region’s security.

The utility of the drone system comes into play as the “third eye” in the sky, offering crucial battlefield transparency with sharp clarity. The importance of this capability in safeguarding the nation against adversarial elements underscores the strategic role the UAV could play in enhancing situational awareness and providing a significant edge in defence operations.

 

Features of Drishti 10 Starliner and what sets it apart

The Drishti 10 Starliner stands as a cutting-edge intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), boasting an impressive 36-hour endurance and a substantial 450 kg payload capacity. Distinguished by its exceptional capabilities, it holds the unique status of being the sole all-weather military platform to obtain NATO’s STANAG 4671 (standardized agreement 4671) certification, attesting to its airworthiness in UAV systems. This certification ensures its compliance with rigorous international standards.

The Drishti 10 Starliner, designed to operate in all weather conditions, is an impressive showcase of indigenous technology, with a remarkable 70% of its components being sourced and manufactured within India.

The Drishti 10 Starliner stands out with its state-of-the-art sensors, extended endurance, advanced communication capabilities, and cutting-edge technologies such as automatic take-off and landing. Equipped with these advanced features, the drone is primed for high-performance intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The incorporation of top-tier sensors ensures heightened situational awareness, allowing for precise data collection and analysis. The extended endurance of the drone, coupled with advanced communication capabilities, enhances its operational effectiveness and allows for prolonged missions.

Furthermore, the integration of new-age technologies like automatic take-off and landing streamlines operational procedures, increasing efficiency and reducing the complexity of deployment. Overall, the Drishti 10 Starliner emerges as a technologically advanced platform, poised to meet the evolving demands of modern military operations.

What sets the Drishti 10 Starliner apart is its versatility, as it is authorized to operate seamlessly in both segregated and unsegregated airspace. This accreditation underscores its adaptability and readiness to perform across a spectrum of operational scenarios, making it a significant asset for military applications requiring diverse and challenging environments.

 

Adani and Aatmanirbharta (Self-Reliance)

The Drishti 10 Starliner drone, a notable addition to the Indian military’s capabilities, has been manufactured by Adani Defence and Aerospace at its facility in Hyderabad. The technology transfer for this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has been facilitated through collaboration with the Israeli defence firm Elbit Systems. This marks a significant achievement as it represents the first major defence platform delivered to the Indian military by Adani.

Derived from Elbit Systems’ Hermes 900 Starliner drones, the Drishti 10 Starliner brings advanced capabilities to the Indian military, showcasing the successful integration of international expertise with domestic manufacturing.

Adani has demonstrated a commendable commitment to aligning its roadmap with the specific needs of the Indian Navy, creating an ecosystem of partners and capabilities to foster self-reliance in defence and security—a vision encapsulated by the term “Aatmanirbharta” or self-reliance. This marks a momentous occasion and a transformative stride in India’s pursuit of self-sufficiency in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) technology and maritime dominance.

The strategic alignment of Adani’s roadmap with the Indian Navy’s requirements signifies a concerted effort to address the nation’s defence needs comprehensively. By establishing a robust ecosystem of partners and capabilities, Adani is contributing to the broader goal of reducing dependency on external sources for critical defence technologies.

This achievement is pivotal in India’s quest for self-reliance in ISR technology and maritime supremacy, highlighting Adani’s proactive role in shaping the nation’s defence capabilities. Furthermore, the company’s dedication to unmanned systems is evident not only in manufacturing but also in sustaining through Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) efforts, showcasing a holistic approach to the development and maintenance of cutting-edge defence technologies.

In response to the growing threat posed by rogue drones, Adani Defence is actively engaged in the development of counter-drone systems designed for application in both defence and civil scenarios. This strategic move underscores Adani’s commitment to addressing contemporary security challenges and highlights its agility in adapting to evolving threats.

Adani Defence’s strength lies in its extensive ecosystem, encompassing Tier 1 and Tier 2 capabilities across the entire defence supply chain. This robust framework positions the company favourably for the integration of larger platforms, enabling it to provide comprehensive and effective solutions to counter the proliferation of unauthorized drones.