Mira Aerospace and VEDA Aeronautics Collaborate to Deliver Advanced HAPS Solutions for Indian Market

Deploying the first HAPS in the Indian market sets a new benchmark for the adoption of this technology in Asia and beyond

Defence Industry
Image courtesy: Mira Aerospace

​​Abu Dhabi / New Delhi: UAE based Mira Aerospace and Indian start-up VEDA Aeronautics have collaborated to deliver the world’s most advanced High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) solutions designed for the Indian market.

Through this collaboration, Mira Aerospace will pair its cutting-edge ApusNeo HAPS technology with VEDA Aeronautics’ local development capabilities. The offering will be available to both Indian Defence and civilian clients.

Under this agreement, the companies have committed to deliver a HAPS platform specific to the Indian market within the first half of 2024. Mira Aerospace and VEDA Aeronautics previously performed test flights in the Indian airspace, where the technology demonstrator HAPS unit flew in the Indian stratosphere. This test continues to be the only such flight in India to date.

VEDA Aeronautics has recently participated in the Make-1 project, an initiative launched and funded by the Indian Air Force, where the company looks to design and develop a HAPS solution capable of carrying a minimum 35KG payload and sustaining operations at 18,000m altitude for minimum of 30-45 days. Under the Make-1 project, the HAPS developed through the partnership with Mira Aerospace could potentially be used for strategic persistent monitoring of the Indian borders.

The project is being handheld by the Indian military and the HAPS has successfully carried out flights over the Pokhran Test Range at 12 km above the ground. Conducted in March last year, the test marked the only flight of an HAPS in the Indian stratosphere, said sources.

As part of a new genre of solar-powered platforms being designed across the world for persistent surveillance, communications, and scientific missions, The HAPS platform will fill a capability gap between satellites and HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) UAVs and run purely on solar power, flying above the clouds at 16-20 km autonomously for months at a stretch.

On board with the project, both the IAF and the Navy are looking to acquire this capability for the short- and long-term. According to sources, the IAF is closely monitoring the project and handholding the players. Developed under the Ministry of Defence’s Rs 1,000 crore ‘Make-I project’, which entails 90 percent of government funding, the HAPS would be used for strategic persistent monitoring of India’s borders.

Hasan Al Hosani, Managing Director of Bayanat said, “We see India as an important market in Mira Aerospace’s international growth strategy. Covering huge areas of diverse terrain, we see a clear opportunity to provide cutting-edge, AI-powered geospatial solutions to our partners in the region. The collaboration between Mira Aerospace and VEDA Aeronautics demonstrates the growing need for intelligent geospatial solutions, and we are excited to expand into the Indian market and showcase our world-leading, specialised solutions.”

Dipesh Gupta, Managing Director of VEDA Aeronautics, said, “We are thrilled to announce our strategic partnership with Mira Aerospace, which marks a significant milestone in India’s journey towards accelerating the deployment of HAPS technology. This endeavour underscores our unwavering commitment to innovation, heralding a new era of technological advancement and strategic prowess in the aerospace domain.

Mira Aerospace is a joint venture between Bayanat and UAVOS based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The company combines Bayanat’s unique Geospatial AI experience with UAVOS’ extensive expertise in developing unmanned solutions. The company is the global leader in High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS) technology.

VEDA Aeronautics is an Indian Aerospace and Defence company and a winner of the IAF’s ‘Mehar Baba’ swarm drone competition. VEDA recently won a major contract for design and manufacturing of a jet-powered UAV for the Indian Air Force. The company has been involved in Research & Development of Defence Systems based on AI technology to be used by the Indian and Global Military Units.