Pune: TDF DRDO Awards Contract for the Development of Underwater Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (ULUAVs) to Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd.

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Pune, 12th June 2024: The Defence Research and Development Organization’s Technology Development Fund (TDF) along with DRDL Lab & Indian Navy has awarded a contract for the prestigious development of Underwater Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (ULUAVs) to Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd., a Pune-based startup. Signing an agreement under TDF with Indian Startup marks a significant step forward in the nation’s advanced military capabilities. With various organisations competing to win the contract, it is prominent that DRDO has selected a single development agency to develop a project. This strategic move underscores India’s commitment to bolstering its maritime Defence capabilities, ensuring readiness and resilience in an ever-evolving security landscape.

The agreement was signed between the Director of TDF, Smt. Nidhi Bansal and Sagar Defence Engineering in the presence of Director of DRDL Dr G. A. S. Murthy along with Indian Navy and TDF officials.

Central to this project is the development of an Underwater Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of launching autonomously from a submarine and landing on a moving vessel. The Underwater Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ULUAV) will be developed by Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd. with high endurance and long range, giving it a huge surprise element advantage. It will be capable of being deployed quickly, safely, and autonomously from a moving submarine. Operating in tandem with the ULUAV enables discreet surveillance missions, allowing submarines to monitor potential threats without revealing their presence. This innovation represents a paradigm shift in naval Defence technology, offering unparalleled flexibility and precision in underwater engagements.

The DRDO’s Technology Development Fund (TDF), signifies the government’s proactive approach to fostering indigenous innovation and technological advancement. The TDF’s decision to focus on the development of underwater-launched UAVs with Sagar Defence Engineering, who have also developed the maritime spotter drone with the capability to take off and launch from a moving platform for the Indian Navy, reflects the evolving nature of modern naval warfare. By harnessing the capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles in underwater environments, the nation’s Defence industry stands to gain a decisive edge in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, enhancing situational awareness and operational effectiveness across the maritime domain.

The contract signed between DRDO’s TDF and Sagar Defence Engineering for the development of a ULUAV represents a visionary step forward in indigenous Defence innovation. The Indigenous development of such advanced capabilities underscores India’s growing prowess in Defence research and development by DRDO. By nurturing a robust ecosystem of innovation and collaboration between the government and industry, the development of ULUAVs aligns with the Indian government’s broader vision of achieving self-reliance in Defence production and fostering domestic manufacturing capabilities. The project signifies our honourable PM, Narendra Modi Government’s proactive approach to fostering indigenous innovation and technological advancement through Startups and MSMEs under the TDF scheme.

Captain Nikunj Parashar, the CEO of Sagar Defence Engineering, remarked, “This contract not only underscores the trust and confidence that DRDO has in our capabilities but also serves as a testament to the strides we are making in Defence innovation. We are committed to developing cutting-edge solutions that will enhance our nation’s Defence capabilities and operational readiness.”