India’s MoD signs Rs 200 Cr contract for anti-drone system under iDEX initiative

Fast-growing Indian private defence start-up, Big Bang Boom Solutions Private Limited (BBBS), has secured an order worth more than Rs 200 crores from the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army for its anti-drone system or counter-unmanned aerial systems (C-UAS) technology.

This contract is the largest the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative, and one of the largest signed by the MoD with an Indian start-up.

BBBS regards this as a testament to its expertise in deep-tech products, especially anti-drone solutions.

The iDEX initiative was launched by the Hon’ble PM in April 2018.

Notably, iDEX aims to achieve self – reliance and foster innovation and technology development in Defence and Aerospace by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia.

iDEX has partnered with leading incubators in the country to provide handholding, technical support and guidance to the winners of iDEX challenges.

Noteworthy, C-UAS systems are intended to counter the growing threat from technologically simple, inexpensive, commercially available drones that can inflict disproportionate damage on Indian targets.

The drones can fly over a border to deliver contraband loads, such as weapons and ammunition; or be rigged as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that can destroy or damage high-value targets, such as aircraft or command centres.

They could even operate in large numbers as expendable drone swarms that crash into and destroy aircraft, helicopters or VIP convoys.

Typically, these drones are obtainable off-the-shelf, or as “do-it-yourself” (DIY) kits that cost as little as Rs 50,000.

BBBS’s Vajra Sentinel is a state-of-the-art, anti-drone system designed to detect, track, and neutralize drones at extraordinary ranges.

Its sensors and jammers meet military-standard specifications for durability and reliability.

Further, it has state-of-the-art technical incorporations, such as active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and kamikaze drones which can be upgraded on demand by the user.

The system’s core sensor is built around artificial intelligence (AI).

Computer vision algorithms enable precise identification, classification, and location of drones.

Additionally, its sophisticated decision-making matrix enables autonomous decision-making for countermeasures such as signal jamming and other countermeasures.

“This is a significant milestone for us. Our product pipeline and mix for the next 10 years are robust, and the team is raring to go.

We have already started discussions on repeat orders and export opportunities.

We will now reopen our doors to financial players who can come along in this next leg of nation-building,” said Praveen Dwarakanath, CEO, BBBS.

BBBS says it will commence execution of the order immediately, with a focus on timely delivery, comprehensive training, and unwavering support to the IAF and Indian Army “to ensure seamless integration of this vital technology into their defence strategies.”

“The Indian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) decision to place this order underscores the country’s commitment to strengthening its security infrastructure and investing in Atmanirbhar cutting-edge defence technology,” stated BBBS on Monday.

Anti-drone technology provides a game-changing response to the mounting threat posed by drones and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

“The focus of the iDEX programme is to foster an ecosystem of innovation and technology development in defence.

It is our constant endeavour to engage with young innovators who can bring technologically advanced solutions for modernizing India’s military.

This order contracted to Big Bang Boom Solutions is a step in that direction,” said MoD’s iDEX manager, Vivek Virmani.

In addition to the anti-drone system, the company has won 5 iDEX challenges announced by the MoD and has successfully completed three of them, in the diverse field of drones, advanced chemical engineering, computer vision, and cybersecurity.