News Brief

Indian Navy Inks Contract With Bengaluru-Based NewSpace For High Altitude Pseudo Satellite: Here's All You Need To Know

Kuldeep Negi

Mar 14, 2024, 10:11 AM | Updated 10:11 AM IST

Pic Via Twitter
Pic Via Twitter

The Indian Navy has signed a contract for design and development of High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) with Bengaluru-based NewSpace Research and Technologies.

The contract has been signed under the Innovations For Defence Excellence (iDex) initiative.

"Contract for design & development of indigenous High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) for the Indian Navy, under the iDEX initiative, signed with M/s NewSpace Research & Technologies," the Indian Navy said in a post on X.

According to the Navy, the move will enhance its prowess with extended surveillance capabilities.

In December last year, the Bengaluru-based private firm had said that its solar-powered High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS), a long-endurance drone, successfully completed its first flight which lasted more than 21 hours.

The Innovation for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative of the Defence Ministry is leading the project. As part of this, NRT has entered into an agreement for an initial proof-of-concept demonstrator, aiming for a solar-powered flight that lasts more than 48 hours.

The startup's CEO and ex-Air Force pilot, Sameer Joshi, revealed on X, that the company's prototype successfully completed its flight in a trial conducted on the Winter Solstice, 22 December.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), which is powered by solar energy, faced its greatest endurance challenge on the Winter Solstice, the year's shortest day.

Its subsequent flight is scheduled for 21 June, also known as the Summer Solstice, when the Sun will shine at its peak brightness.

The Indian Air Force has incorporated HAPS into a 'Make I project' by the Government of India, which is valued at Rs 1,000 crore. This indicates that the government will provide 70 percent of the project's funding.

Most commercial planes usually cruise at altitudes ranging from 31,000 to 38,000 feet, which is approximately 8.3 km to 11.5 km high.

Given that the HAPS is solar-powered, it has the capability to remain airborne for several months.

The HAPS UAV represents a fresh category of solar-powered platforms that are being developed globally to carry out continuous surveillance, communications, and specific scientific missions.

The project has secured the support of both the IAF and the Navy, who are interested in procuring this capability not only for immediate needs but also for future requirements.

Also Read: Long-Endurance Drones In Making: NewSpace's Solar-Powered High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite Flies Over 21 Hours

Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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