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B’luru firm, 2 others win IAF swarm drone challenge

Source : The Times of India

B’luru firm, 2 others win IAF swarm drone challenge



A swarm drone display by one of the three winners of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Mehar Baba Swarm Drone Challenge announced in 2018 concluded the three-day conclave celebrating the golden jubilee of the 1971 Indo-Pak war victory at the Air Force station-Yelahanka here, on Sunday. To encourage the development of swarm unmanned aircraft system technology, the IAF conducted an open competition aligned with PM Modi’s call to make-in-India. The nation-wide competition for swarm drones for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations was announced on October 3, 2018.

The competition saw 154 teams register, and the committee of experts — comprising domain specialists and experts from IAF and civilian subject matter experts and academia — shortlisted 57 teams for Phase-1.These teams were invited to present their solutions as per the competition conduct document 8.0 which covered the requirements along with details of the process of incubation, innovation, evaluation criteria etc.“20 teams were selected for Phase-2, which was a flying and technical evaluation phase and was conducted at Jaisalmer in 2019.

The five best teams were then selected for Phase-3, again a flying and technical evaluation phase with enhancement in requirements in terms of drones in swarms, swarm software/hardware, distance and AI,” the IAF said.On Sunday, the IAF announced three main winners: Bengaluru-based Newspace Research & Technologies Pvt Ltd won the swarm architecture challenge, Chennai-based Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Pvt Ltd won the drone architecture challenge, while Delhi-based DTU-Flair Unmanned Systems Pvt Ltd, won the communication architecture. A statement issued here read that another firm, Veda Defense Systems Pvt Ltd was awarded the best innovation design.

The IAF said that the Phase-3 of the competition was delayed due to Covid-19 and culminated in March 2021. “The IAF supported the R&D (for the competition) by giving developmental reimbursement of up to Rs 25 lakh and Rs 2.5 crore for phase-2 and Phase-3, respectively. The finalists were also given an opportunity to give IAF the final product as per its requirements towards performance production of swarm drone systems,” it added.

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