Is India Becoming A ‘Drone Giant’?

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In our current world crazed by the drone industry, everything always goes back to China, which dominates the global market. Now it seems the Indian government is working to create an indigenous drone industry to potentially rival it.

There have been international concerns regarding Chinese-made drones and a fear that the Chinese government would use DJI to extract data and spy. Many countries, including the US, are banning the use of Chinese drones or even internal drone parts.

As for India itself, after banning the import of Chinese drones in 2022 it is now taking things further and banning the use of Chinese components in Indian drones. Military officials told reporters that parts from “countries sharing land borders with India will not be acceptable for security reasons,” according to Reuters.

India stopping Chinese imports is a good first step since it eliminates advanced, low-cost imported models from the market. Building relationships with other countries is a great second step.

According to Forbes, one of India’s leading drone makers Garuda Aerospace announced last week of new international partnerships with Aero Sentinel and Titan Innovations of Israel, U.S.-based Easy Aerial, and Azur Drones from France, all dealing with drones produced for the defense, security, and civil infrastructure sectors.

The Indian military is serious when it comes to locally made drones, with the government announcing in July an order for 97 locally made reconnaissance drones to monitor the borders and another announcement last week of 200 logistics drones from Dhaksha Unmanned Systems.

Nevertheless, trying to emulate China’s success can be difficult when it comes to the scale of the industry. At the moment, Chinese drones are the cheapest, so ordering a large batch of drones from other countries and companies is invariably more expensive than the thousands of drones turned out by DJI every day. Many drone companies do not have the scale to handle the large drone orders that may be demanded.

But on a better note, if India can actually build a large-scale production base, it could win a strategically important role, with nations unwilling or unable to buy from China looking for an alternative. Drones are becoming an increasingly important weapon for modern warfare, and if India can manage to become a main supplier, it may be put in a very strong position.

This information was provided by Forbes.