You are currently viewing ‘In Touch with MHA for Anti-drone Policy’: After Major Defence Deal, Startup Eyes Exports to Other Countries – News18

‘In Touch with MHA for Anti-drone Policy’: After Major Defence Deal, Startup Eyes Exports to Other Countries – News18


A Chennai-based defence sector startup specialising in anti-drone technology recently clinched a contract worth over Rs 200 crore from the defence ministry. The company is now looking for its first export order this fiscal, as the central government has opened dialogue with other countries.

In an exclusive interview with News18, Dr R Shivaraman, the founder of Big Bang Boom Solutions, shed light on the company’s journey into developing anti-drone technology. “We initiated our foray into anti-drone technology spurred by a conversation with Ajay Soni, formerly associated with Punj Lloyd and currently with Adani Defence and Aerospace, a few years ago. This discussion led us to think that as drones are becoming popular, there will be a need for counter-drone technology, especially something indigenous,” he said.

Explaining the project that impressed the defence ministry, Shivaraman said: “Our soft skill system boasts of a fingerprint detector, enabling unparalleled detection ranges of 7-10 km, a significant advancement over existing market solutions. Powered by AI-based fingerprinting technology, our system excels in detection and jamming capabilities, with provisions for physical takedown as an optional upgrade.”

Reflecting on the transformative impact of the defence ministry contract, he stressed its role in nurturing a robust indigenous ecosystem. “The contract not only facilitates the delivery of our system but catalyses the development of a domestic vendor network for critical components such as antennas and power amplifiers,” he said.

“These components were not available in India for a long time. Now, after we received an order, we have been able to place contracts to provide us with indigenous antennas with at least three vendors in India. For example, we are now working closely with a Delhi-based company to create power amplifiers in the country,” he added.

Highlighting their global engagements, Shivaraman said the company sources the required material from the US, Israel and Poland, who are the closest partners particularly for this project. Apart from them, the startup also works with vendors from South Korea and Taiwan.

“Advanced discussions are underway with the Indian Navy, with expectations of securing the first contract within the next two months. Additionally, we will be looking at providing the same system across other defence establishments such as the army, BSF, CISF etc,” he said about future collaborations.

The startup is also hopeful about its first export order this financial year as Shivaraman highlighted the fact that the department of defence production has also opened up conversations with around 15 countries for the company, including a delegation to visit Sri Lanka that took place last week. He also said Big Bang Boom Solutions has received a letter of intent to buy 400 systems from the Government of Oman.

There are serious discussions about the procurement of the indigenous anti-drone solution, addressing production capacity and differentiation from competitors. “Our current production capacity of 20 systems per month enables us to meet demand while maintaining flexibility for expansion. For us to move from a 200-unit production facility to a 400-unit production facility is not a big challenge. We differentiate ourselves through customised solutions tailored to end-user requirements and a modular design approach, ensuring seamless functionality.”

While discussing the global anti-drone market, which is projected to reach over $5 billion to $6 billion by 2029, Shivaraman said this is an area, akin to firearms and bulletproof armour, that requires advancements based on demand.

“One of the things we want to do is position ourselves not only in India but throughout the world, as an end-to-end anti-drone provider capable of delivering a core system and continuously updating as technology advances. Given that drones are maturing, we predict anti-drone activity to increase over the next 5-10 years. And we are in a situation where we can capitalise on the order that we received,” he said.

He further said globally, the anti-drone system is becoming important as it is an evolving threat. He explained that the expanding use of drones, spanning civilian applications to active combat scenarios, raises critical concerns, particularly as these devices become ubiquitous in urban settings.

With drones increasingly employed in activities such as agriculture and delivery services, their accessibility escalates posing heightened security risks. From surveillance to illicit spying and payload delivery, drones facilitate a spectrum of potential threats, necessitating robust protection measures.

Shivaraman underscored the imperative for not only the armed forces but also state entities like railway stations and airports to fortify defences against this evolving landscape of threats.

“We are closely in touch with the ministry of home affairs (MHA) for an anti-drone policy,” he said, while explaining that the strategy is to figure out how anti-drone systems can be placed in critical places.

“We did a demonstration for the Kenyan Defence Forces in Nairobi. When we installed our system, we found two drones were flying outside the defence secretary’s office. Even the secretary doesn’t know that there is a drone flying nearby. This was witnessed by the defence attaché from India,” he added.

“Our recommendation is the swift deployment of a fully passive detection system. We urge governments to prioritise the installation of detection systems over jammers, emphasising the importance of understanding the level of threat. By first analysing the threat landscape, authorities can better determine appropriate countermeasures. We advocate for policies that prioritise threat awareness, ensuring proactive measures are in place before implementing countermeasures,” he added.


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