Indian ArmyInternal Security

Nano Drones From A Startup Shine In Counter-Terror Operations

Story Highlights
  • Most of the "Black Hornet" small drones that are used in India right now were made in the US.
  • "The Cambodian army has shown interest, and talks are going on about possible purchases," Singh said.

A group of young engineers from IIT Roorkee started a defense company two years ago. They have made three types of nano drones, including a “Kamikaze” UAV, that can be used in anti-insurgency and anti-terrorism missions. The co-founder of the company IDR, Mayank Pratap Singh, said, “This is the first time that nano drones have been made in this country.”

“Since we started our company in 2021, we’ve made three types of nano-drones that are helping security forces fight insurgency and terrorism. This took only two years.”

He said that IDR Research and Development had made three different versions of the Doot Mk1 nano drone that were shown at the North-tech conference. Recently, the symposium was held here to talk about tactical problems and buy cutting-edge gear for the Army.

Singh said that these drones weigh about 200 grams, can fly for up to 30 minutes, can reach speeds of up to 80 kmph, and make very little noise. The Doot Mk1 is equipped with artificial intelligence that lets it recognize up to 80 different items.

“There is a version of the drone that works best outdoors, another that works best indoors, and a version that explodes (called Kamikaze).

“These micro drones can be used in an emergency in less than 10 seconds. “Because they are small, they can move through tight spaces, whether they are launched by hand, from a roof, or from a moving vehicle,” Singh said.

The ‘Kamikaze’ form, which is called Parush, blows up when it gets to its target.

He said that the drone carries explosives and has a “kill” button to set them off. He also said that drones with this kind of mechanism would have to be designed to find the enemy’s hiding place and blow up there.

“Parush means dangerous or harmful. We recently tried the explosive drone, and it worked well. We are now working on making it safe,” he said. “By December, it will be ready.”

Singh said that the live feed from the Doot MK1 drone is sent to multiple screens, which makes it easy to coordinate in close battle situations. It can be used indoors or in buildings up to 200 to 300 meters away and has a range of 1.5 kilometers.

Officials from the startup said that these nano drones were tried by different branches of the military as well as the NSG and Assam rifles. They also said that the Army had made 20 units.

A mini drone costs between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6 lakh.

“Our drones are made just for the situations in India. “They have passed tests in high-altitude areas, deserts, and different weather conditions,” Singh said. He also said that these nano drones are essential for anti-terrorism operations, close-quarter combats, indoor interventions, and silent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

Most of the “Black Hornet” small drones that are used in India right now were made in the US.

The new business is constantly looking for ways to export its products.

“We just came back from a defense show in Gujarat, where countries like Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Morocco gave us great feedback. Procurement talks are going on with their separate governments. “The Cambodian army has shown interest, and talks are going on about possible purchases,” Singh said.

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