Ambani and Adani in the race to become number one in civilian-use drones

After green energy, the Ambani and Adani Groups are now in the race to become number one in yet another field – civilian-use drones.

While they both have a major presence on the defence side drones, officials of these groups participating in the Drone Festival in Delhi last week spoke about expanding on the civil side now.

“We will be expanding in all spheres like original equipment manufacturer (OEM), services and analytics using cloud-based platforms. We aim to be the biggest OEM in India. As of now, we have one manufacturing hub in Bengaluru and will soon have maintenance hubs across India.”

Nihar Vartak, Co-Founder and Director, Asteria Aerospace, Subsidiary of Reliance Industries Jio Platforms

Asteria Aerospace signed an MoU with India’s biggest unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) pilot training company – Drone Destination – during the event to meet its requirement of licensed drone operators.

Recently, Adani Defence Systems and Technologies (ADSTL) announced it will acquire a 50% stake in Bengaluru-based commercial drone player General Aeronautics to provide “end-to-end solutions to the domestic agriculture sector”.

“We are promoting startups in the sector. We will soon start manufacturing a logistics drone capable of carrying a payload of up to 120 kg and then come up with drones for other payloads. The group is looking at agriculture drones and wants to be the market leader.

When we entered the defence UAV side in 2018, we brought the biggest Hermes 900 multi-role, medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone (that is made by Israeli partner Elbit Systems). Now as we enter the civil side, we will grow taking both the organic and inorganic route.”

Ashok Wadhawan, Head of Land Systems, Adani Defence and Aerospace

And last month, Adani-Elbit Advanced Systems India, a JV of Adani Group and an Israeli company, was one of the 14 beneficiaries of the government’s product-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for manufacturing drones and drone components.

Reliance Group’s Asteria Aerospace is a “full-stack drone technology company providing actionable intelligence from aerial data” that develops customised drone solutions using its in-house hardware design, software development, and manufacturing capabilities.

Ambani and Adani are in the race to become number one in civilian-use drones

Apart from defence, it is working with companies in agriculture, oil & gas, energy, telecom, mining, and construction sectors.

“We are working on mega projects. Currently, we are mapping a 50,000 sq km area in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and will complete the work in 4-5 months,” Asteria’s Vartak said.

(With Inputs from The Times of India)

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