Coming Soon, Integrated Testing Facility for Drones Near Kanpur as Part of Defence Industrial Corridor

An integrated testing facility for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones manufactured in the country will come up near Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh as part of the UP Defence Industrial Corridor, News18 has learnt.

“Indian defence forces are estimated to procure UAS worth three billion dollars over the next 10 years from the domestic manufacturers which will lead to increased testing demand for UAS also. This will be in addition to high growth in the civilian UAV market in the country,” a government document reviewed by News18 says, explaining the decision to set up an integrated test facility for UAS near Kanpur under the Centre’s Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS).

“The proposed integrated testing facility for UAS will provide the necessary testing infrastructure required for promoting and facilitating UAS development in the country. The testing facility will evaluate the airworthiness, functioning, overall performance of UAS,” the document says. It adds that this integrated UAS testing facility shall comprise land, hangar, airstrip, UAS traffic management (UTM) system, radar, and both indoor and outdoor test facilities.

This UAV testing facility could cost Rs 45 crore and a tender has been invited.

Two More Testing Facilities in UP

Kanpur would also see a Communication Testing facility coming up while an integrated testing facility would come up near Lucknow for mechanical and material testing. Mechanical and Material tests are common for most of the defence platforms and are critical for the defence industry, given the extreme mechanical and material conditions, and operating conditions that defence equipment needs to sustain in.

“The proposed facility for Mechanical and Material tests shall also have synergies with the civil sector, which makes it a compelling business case,” says the document.

Why Integrated Testing Facilities?

One of the main impediments to domestic defence production is the lack of easily accessible state-of-the-art testing infrastructure, the document says.

“The defence testing infrastructure (DTI) is often capital intensive requiring continuous upgradation and it is not economically viable for individual defence industrial units to set up in-house testing facilities,” the document says.

The DTIS aims at setting up 6-8 Greenfield DTIs as a common facility under the private sector with Government assistance in the upcoming Defence Industrial Corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu. “Setting up of DTI will provide easy access and thus meet the testing needs of the domestic defence industry,” it says.

The aim of DTIS, a scheme approved in 2020, is to set up eight DTIs through Special Project Vehicles (SPVs) with an aid of Rs 400 crore from the Centre.

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