In news– The Indian Navy has signed an agreement with Sagar Defence Engineering Pvt. Ltd for armed autonomous boat swarms under ‘SPRINT’, an initiative to promote development of niche defence technologies by domestic companies.
- This is the 50th contract under ‘SPRINT’ scheme.
- The agreement refers to an Indian Navy project of the Defence India Start-up Challenge (DISC 7) SPRINT initiative, and the Indian Navy expects to place an order for 12 systems after the construction of the weaponised autonomous unmanned boat.
- The platform will be able to conduct a range of navy and security tasks including high-speed interdiction; surveillance; constabulary operations; Command, Control, Communications, Computers (C4) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR); and low-intensity maritime operations.
About ‘SPRINT’ scheme-
- ‘SPRINT’ stands for Supporting Pole-vaulting In R&D through Innovations for Defence Excellence (IdeX), Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) and Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC).
- The NIIO, in conjunction with the Defence Innovation Organisation (DIO), aims at inducting at least 75 new indigenous technologies, products into the Indian Navy and this collaborative project is named SPRINT.
- Government had started ‘SPRINT Challenges’ in July 2022 aimed at giving a boost to the usage of indigenous technology in the Indian Navy.
Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation(NIIO)-
- It was launched by the Defence Minister in 2020.
- The NIIO puts in place dedicated structures for the end users to interact with academia and industry towards fostering innovation and indigenisation for self-reliance in defence in keeping with the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
- The NIIO is a three-tiered organisation.
- Naval Technology Acceleration Council (N-TAC) that brings together the twin aspects of innovation and indigenisation and provide apex level directives.
- A Technology Development Acceleration Cell (TDAC) was created for induction of emerging disruptive technology in an accelerated time frame.