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India’s First Pseudo Satellite: Bridging Surveillance Gaps



  Mar 26, 2024

India’s First Pseudo Satellite: Bridging Surveillance Gaps



India is set to advance its surveillance capabilities with its first High-Altitude Platform System (HAPS), or ‘pseudo satellite,’ a collaborative effort between Veda Aeronautics and UAE-based Mira Aerospace. This initiative marks a significant stride towards enhancing India’s reconnaissance capabilities, particularly along its eastern borders with China. The pseudo satellite combines the endurance of a satellite with the agility of a jet, capable of operating at altitudes of 65,000 feet, thereby surpassing weather activities and traditional air traffic.

Key Highlights:

• Partnership for Advanced Capabilities: The collaboration involves bringing Mira Aerospace’s ApusNeo HAPS technology to India, leveraging Veda Aeronautics’ local development expertise. This partnership aims to produce a HAPS platform tailored for the Indian market by the first half of 2024.

• Strategic Importance: HAPS stands out as a strategic asset for India’s drone wingman project, expected to have its maiden flight in 2024. Its ability to loiter in the stratosphere for months, powered by solar energy, offers a sustainable solution for persistent surveillance and communication, especially in challenging terrains like the Himalayas.

• Enhanced ISR Capabilities: The system is poised to significantly augment India’s Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and communication data capabilities, addressing the acute demand-supply gap across military and civilian domains. Its modular construction allows for a versatile range of payloads, enhancing navigational and sensor capabilities.

• Operational Efficiency: HAPS has the potential to substantially reduce the number of sorties needed for comprehensive coverage of areas of interest, offering a more efficient alternative to medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAVs and traditional satellite surveillance, at a fraction of the cost.

Strategic and Economic Implications:

This development is not just a leap in technological prowess but also a strategic maneuver in India’s defense and surveillance strategy, especially in light of ongoing tensions with China. By deploying HAPS, India aims to achieve a significant advantage in monitoring and intelligence-gathering over the difficult terrain along the border. Economically, the cost-effectiveness of HAPS operation compared to traditional drones and satellites presents a compelling advantage for sustained surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

The partnership between Veda Aeronautics and Mira Aerospace underscores India’s commitment to enhancing its defense capabilities through innovation and international collaboration. As the project progresses, it will be crucial to observe its integration into India’s broader defense strategy and its impact on regional security dynamics.


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