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Pune based startup SDE builds human-carrying drones for Indian Navy

In a groundbreaking development, a Pune-based startup, Sagar Defense Engineering, has revolutionized the Indian military operations by making an advanced drone, Varuna, which is capable of carrying humans.

Commenting on this, Founder, Sagar Defense Engineering (SDE), Nikunj Parashar, said, “I had a close friend, who was the second engineer on the ship. He was having certain family issues. One night, he jumped into the water. It was almost 7 am that we realised he was missing when he did not come around for breakfast. We traced the whole path back in the Atlantic but could not recover his body. There have been other instances of fire happening at sea. These experiences pushed me to decide to do something different for the maritime community and that formed the foundation of Sagar Defense Engineering.”

He added, “This is where the whole concept of SDE started.”

Parashar further said, “The market is changing very rapidly. The maritime market, especially, is picking up in a very big way right now in India. The sea level is rising and the business is going to keep increasing as long as there is technology serving the purpose. We see a market of close to $2 billion in the next five years only for maritime service vehicles across Asia and the sub-Asian continent.”

The Pune based startup was founded in 2012 by a former merchant navy officer, Capt. Nikunj Parashar. The startup has gained significant traction for its cutting-edge drone technology. These unmanned vehicles are designed to navigate challenging terrains and operate in both civilian and military contexts.

The startup aims to push boundaries of aerial technology and making way towards a more efficient defense system in India. The unmanned vehicle was launched on 7th June and will be available for commercial and defense purposes as of now.


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