International Conference on: Strategic Role of UAVs


PHDCCI Defence & HLS Committee organised the 2nd International Conference on the ‘Strategic Role of UAVs’ on Tuesday, October 31, 2023, at the PHD House, New Delhi. The conference provided a platform to the experts, Government and the industry leaders to discuss the significance of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in the strategic and defence sectors and offered valuable insights into India’s growing drone industry. More than 150 industry delegates, diplomats, officers from Armed Forces and others attended this important conference.

The key topics of discussed in this important & meaningful event were – Indigenous Production & Future Trends in Tactical UAVs, Achieving Complete Indigenisation of the Tactical UAV Value Chain, UAV Payload & Systems, Roadmap for Large Scale Operations using Logistic UAVs, Regulatory Landscape for Sharing of Airspace with Manned Aircraft, Roadmap for Development & Manufacture of Strategic UAVs in India, Developing Medium and Long Range Surveillance Capabilities, Emerging Technologies across the World in MALE and HALE UAVs, Capabilities to Counter Grey Zone Wars & Remote Area Insurgencies.

Significant highlights and takeaways from the occasion encompassed the subsequent insights:

  • Emphasis on the growth of the drone industry in India, with a discussion on the advanced Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) system developed by Sky UTM to regulate drone traffic.
  • The need for developing indigenous drones and payloads to align with the vision of India’s Prime Minister and reduce reliance on imports.
  • Insights into the stages of drone development in India, emphasizing the importance of clear policies, demand generation, and safeguarding against foreign competition.
  • Discussions on the challenges of certifying drones in India, particularly for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations, and ongoing efforts to address these issues.
  • Recommendations to shift from Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) to Design-Linked Incentives (DLI) to encourage indigenous drone design and development.

The Chief Guest of the Conference was Major General C S Mann, VSM Additional Director General, Army Design Bureau. A knowledge report, jointly compiled by PHDCCI and Maple Capital Advisor, was unveiled by Major General C S Mann.

The Event Partners were L&T Defence, DCM Shriram, Newspace Research & Technologies, Karman Drones & Skye Air Mobility. The Strategic Partner was Ernst & Young, Knowledge Partner – Maple Capital Advisor, Supporting Partners – QCI & USISPF, and finally the Magzine Partner – SecurityLinkIndia.

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