Aerial Warfare

Veda Aeronautics Tests Sureshastra Jet-powered Swarm Drone

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Veda Aeronautics Tests Sureshastra Jet-powered Swarm Drone

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Veda Aeronautics Tests Sureshastra Jet-powered Swarm Drone
Veda Aeronautics Tests Sureshastra Jet-powered Swarm Drone

Indian defense company Veda Aeronautics has commenced testing their innovative “Sureshastra” prototype. This cutting-edge system, designed for catapult-launch and jet-powered flight, marks Veda Aeronautics as the first private Indian company to develop such an advanced drone, capable of executing swarming attacks. The Sureshastra system, or Smart Unmanned Munitions System (S-UMS), showcases Veda Aeronautics’ prowess in UAV technology. This development not only demonstrates India’s growing capabilities in defense technology but also represents a crucial step forward for the Indian Air Force (IAF), which has been actively seeking advanced unmanned solutions.

The drone is 3.5 m long, has a 3 metre wingspan, and has an explosive warhead payload. It weighs nearly 90 kgs fully loaded and is catapult-launched. Each drone has a range of over 150 km and is designed to carry out long range strikes in concert with other drones using satellite navigation signals to fly to pre-programmed targets. Future variants of the drone will have extended ranges and could also be vehicle-launched and ship-launched. This system could provide frontline protection for critical assets moving with mobile army units. The Indian army is currently looking for a Medium Range Precision Kill system with a range of around 60-80 km.

Veda Aeronautics secured a landmark 300-crore contract with the IAF for the land-launched version of the Sureshastra MkI. This collaboration underscores the IAF’s commitment to integrating advanced drone technology into its operations, aligning with modern warfare requirements. The IAF awarded the contract after conducting an extensive series of user trials in the Thar desert. The Delhi-based firm is one of the companies that participated in the 2018 Meher Baba swarm drone competition. The contest was set up to identify Indian companies who could provide swarming drones to the IAF.

Veda Aeronautics revealed ongoing collaborations with the IAF to develop even more advanced systems tailored to the evolving needs of the Air Force. This forward-thinking approach ensures that VAPL remains at the forefront of drone technology in India. Both India’s adversaries China and Pakistan are extensively using drones for overt and covert warfare. Pakistan has also ramped up its military drone capabilities by inducting Turkish and Chinese-built drones. China has deployed reconnaissance and cargo drones along the LAC with India ever since it deployed troops in Ladakh in 2020.

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