Drone manufacturer Garuda Aerospace unveiled its solar-powered glider SURAJ at the Aero India Show 2023. The unmanned reconnaissance aerial J-Glider is a high-altitude drone designed for surveillance operations.
Garuda Aerospace made history earlier this week by collecting the largest Series A funding of $22 million in the Indian drone industry.
SphitiCap, a venture capital firm, led the Series A round with an investment of USD 12 million. According to a news statement from Garuda Aerospace, another $5 million in funding was secured in a bridge round from an infrastructure-development firm, a cluster of HNI and angel investors from India, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.
“Garuda Aerospace is on the path to becoming the first ever Drone Unicorn startup in India and it aims to sell 25,000 drones in the next 18 months. The drone startup is looking forward to exporting 10,000 drones to about 100 countries in the next 15 months,” said Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO.
In cooperation with international defense and aerospace industries, a portion of the funding will be used for research and development to hasten the creation of cutting-edge drone systems for the armed services.
According to the business, the money will also be used to grow its presence in Tier II and Tier III cities, hire more drone pilots and train them.
Garuda Aerospace enters the defense sector with the launch of SURAJ
Garuda Aerospace, a drone-as-a-service (DaaS) firm founded in 2015 by Agnishwar Jayaprakash, creates, produces, and customizes drones for various use cases, including deliveries, disaster management, and agricultural applications, among others.
Garuda Aerospace stated that its solar-powered unmanned reconnaissance aircraft J-Glider had made its way into the defense industry.
The SURAJ is a high-altitude drone that can be deployed for surveillance missions that protect ground-based jawans while giving high-command real-time intelligence.
According to the manufacturer, the drone’s distinctive J-shaped wings are fitted with solar-powered cells that serve as its primary fuel source. An auxiliary battery provides extra propulsion or reduced speed as needed.
The drone can carry up to 10 kg of configurable cargo, including high-resolution zoom cameras with thermal imaging and lidar sensors that can penetrate foliage. It can fly at 3,000 feet and has a 12-hour endurance.
This innovative technology will make real-time photo and video capture, processing, and transmission possible, ensuring that the base and headquarters have access to crucial data before formulating strategic actions and terms.
Agnishwar Jayaprakash asserts that Garuda Aerospace’s SURAJ drone will offer military and security support through cutting-edge techniques including real-time monitoring. On creating the SURAJ drone, Garuda Aerospace is also receiving guidance from NAL, DRDO, and several other scientists.