Skydio plans to bring commercial drones to India following defence tie-up

Skydio, a leading American drone manufacturer, has announced plans to introduce its commercial drones and related products in India, in addition to its current focus on defence-related UAVs.

The company recently partnered with Indian firm Aeroarc to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for defence customers in the Indo-Pacific region. This move follows Skydio’s establishment of an R&D center in Bengaluru last year.

Expansion to Commercial Market:

Skydio’s chief revenue officer, Callan Carpenter, revealed that while the company initially enters new markets with its defence products, it aims to expand into non-military and non-government sectors over time.

Carpenter emphasized that this expansion would cater to commercial use cases, marking a significant progression for the company.

“Today we focus on three main market segments — government/defence; public safety and inspection of critical infrastructure.

The last one is (about) power distribution lines and generation bridges, highways.

We can also provide the same kind of overwatch and security that we provide for say a military base or for a military unit in the field for perimeter security at a power plant or for overwatch at a construction site.

Inspection is required everywhere like oil and gas construction. We even have have our drones being used for inventory management. We have a large customer base,” Carpenter said in an interview with TOI.

Skydio says over time it is adding more attachments and different kinds of sensors to its drones to “make them useful in different, different use cases.”

Market Segments and Applications:

Currently, Skydio focuses on three main market segments: government / defence, public safety, and inspection of critical infrastructure.

Carpenter highlighted the versatility of Skydio’s drones, which are used for tasks such as perimeter security at power plants, overwatch at construction sites, and inspection in industries like oil and gas and construction.

Skydio’s drones are equipped with various attachments and sensors to adapt to different use cases.

Defence Partnership with Aeroarc:

Skydio’s collaboration with Aeroarc aims to develop, manufacture, deploy, and support small uncrewed aircraft systems (SUAS) for the Indian defence ministry and other global defence customers in the Indo-Pacific region.

This partnership underscores Skydio’s commitment to bringing advanced autonomous flight technology to India.

Future Plans:

Skydio’s CEO and co-founder, Adam Bry, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for investing in India and partnering with Aeroarc to develop critical dual-use products.

He emphasized the importance of autonomous drone technology in India’s defence innovation strategy, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Skydio CEO & co-founder Adam Bry said: “As the largest manufacturer of small uncrewed aircraft systems outside of China, we’re excited to continue our investment in India and partner with Aeroarc on critical, dual-use products and capabilities that help allied nations in the Indo-Pacific region deter conflict and protect troops.

We believe autonomous drone technology is central to the future of India’s defence innovation strategy.”

Skydio’s expansion into the Indian market with its commercial drones signifies a significant step towards establishing India as a global hub for advanced defence technology.

The company’s partnership with Aeroarc and its focus on developing innovative drone solutions highlight its commitment to advancing drone technology for both defence and commercial purposes.