Indian army orders SWITCH VTOL UAVs manufactured by ideaForge

According to a press release published on January 14, 2021, the Indian company ideaForge has signed a contract of $20 million with the Indian army for the delivery of an unspecified number of SWITCH UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).
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Switch UAV fixed-wing and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing ) hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle. (Picture source ideaForge)

ideaForge is a company based in India that is involved in the research, development, production and operation of the compact, cost-effective and user-friendly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The company was founded by IIT Bombay alumni in 2007.

This contract marks a strategic shift in the Indian defense procurement process as the Indian Army goes on an aggressive modernization drive. It has also cemented ideaForge's position as India's largest manufacturer of drones for defense, homeland security and industrial applications.

The Switch UAV is a fixed-wing and VTOL (vertical take-off and landing ) hybrid unmanned aerial vehicle. The design is based on four propellers mounted on each wing to perform take-off and landing and one engine mounted at the rear of the fuselage used during flight mode.

The Switch UAV can be deployed at high altitude and harsh environments for day and night surveillance in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is man-portable and has the highest time on target compared to any other UAV in its class.

The Switch UAV has a weight of 6.5 k and flight endurance of 120 min with a maximum range of 15 km. It can be fitted with Day&Night cameras mounted at the front of the UAV under the fuselage. The UAV is controlled by a single control station that includes a high range communication box, a computer or tablet, and a single handheld joystick used to operate the drone and the cameras.

Speaking on the development, ideaForge CEO, Ankit Mehta said, "SWITCH UAV is the culmination of insights and knowledge we have gained over years of experience in helping the Indian Forces operationalize UAVs in their ranks. The trials saw about a dozen national and global players compete to meet the operational requirements. SWITCH UAV is the only product that cleared the Indian Army's stringent product trials and surpassed expectations. It is a testimony of the fact that our systems are built like a bird and tested like a tank. Our systems are fully ready to serve nations that seek to protect their territorial sovereignty."