Tamil Nadu is set to host India’s first Drone Common Test Center under the Defense Test Infrastructure (DTI) scheme. The facility, costing Rs 45 crore, will be set up on 2.3 acres of land at SIPCOT Industrial Park, Vallam Vadagal, near Sriperumbudur.

Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) had issued a request for proposal to identify industrial partners to set up this test center as a joint venture, as per the guidelines of the DTI scheme. A consortium of companies comprising Keltron, Sense Image Technologies, Standards Testing & Compliance and Avishka Retailers was selected to partner with TIDCO in setting up the facility. They were selected based on their response to a transparent bidding process, and the project is estimated to cost Rs 45 crore.

“Setting up India’s first Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) Common Testing Center here in Tamil Nadu highlights our Chief Minister’s commitment to building a thriving defense and aerospace manufacturing ecosystem in the state. Attracting investors to the sector in an innovative manner,” said TRB Raja, Minister for Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce.

He further said, “This test center will enable Tamil Nadu to become a preferred destination for aerospace and defense companies looking to set up their Indian operations. We are determined to implement these suggestions and will soon see positive results.”

TIDCO is the nodal agency responsible for the implementation of the Tamil Nadu Defense Industrial Corridor (TNDIC). As part of TNDIC implementation, the Government of Tamil Nadu has adopted a multi-pronged strategy, one aspect of which is to build an enabling ecosystem that includes common test centers for the aerospace and defense industry. Currently, the lack of test centers outside DPSUs/DRDOs supporting aerospace and defense standards represents a barrier to entry for many organizations. TIDCO plans to reduce this hurdle by setting up test centers for multiple sub-domains including Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). Currently, testing of UAS (drones) is done component-wise at various centres, reducing organizational efficiency and increasing costs. An integrated facility of this nature is available only with DRDO at Chitradurga, Karnataka, and is reserved for its own use.

first published: 16 August 2023 | 11:43 PM First


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