Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the Bharat Drone Shakti – 2023 at the Indian Air Force airbase in Hindan Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh on September 25. It is a large-scale drone exhibition being co-hosted by Indian Air Force (IAF) and Drone Federation of India, where the Indian drone industry shall give live aerial demonstrations. The Minister also formally inducted the C-295 transport aircraft into the Indian Air Force. During the programme, the Minister Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari and other dignitaries are also present in the event.
The Bharat Drone Shakti event has drawn the involvement of over 75 drone startups and corporate entities. This event anticipates hosting approximately 5,000 attendees, including delegates from the central government, state departments, both public and private sectors, the armed forces, paramilitary forces, and delegates from friendly nations.
‘Bharat Drone Shakti 2023’ will present the prowess of the Indian drone industry at full capacity hosting over 50+ live aerial demonstrations showcasing survey drones, agriculture drones, fire suppression drones, tactical surveillance drones, heavy-lift logistics drones, loitering munition systems, drone swarms, and counter-drone solutions.
Bharat Drone Shakti will give a fillip to India’s commitment to becoming a global drone hub by 2030. India has formalised the acquisition of 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft to replace the Indian Air Force AVRO fleet. The acquisition of 56, C295 aircraft will boost the Make in India initiatives.
Sharing post on X, Minister Rajnath Singh said, “This medium lift tactical aircraft is capable of taking off and landing from unprepared landing grounds and it will replace the HS-748 Avro aircraft. The induction of C-295 will bolster medium lift tactical capability of the IAF. The Defence and Aerospace sectors are the two important pillars for making India self-reliant in coming years.”
Drone technology has brought about a significant transformation in both civil and defence sectors, enhancing efficiency, minimizing exposure to risks, and serving as a capability enhancer. In India, the adoption of drones is on the rise, with their usage expanding in both military and civilian applications.
The IAF relies extensively on Remotely Piloted Aircraft for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance operations. The IAF’s confidence in the growing drone design and development capabilities within India is evident through initiatives like the Meher Baba Swarm Drone competition, which aims to harness indigenous potential. Furthermore, there are ongoing efforts to continue and expand iterations of this competition.