For the first time, an infantry combat vehicle has come out as the showstopper at an air show, instead of a sleek fighter jet. The STAR—See-Through Armour—system integrated on the Indian Army’s amphibious armoured fighting vehicle BMP-II Sarath is placed as the showstopper for the Aero India 2021, Asia’s biggest aerospace and defence exhibition.
And the reason for picking STAR is because a start-up, Tonbo Imaging, came out as a winner in a challenge thrown up during Defence India Startup Challenge under government’s iDEX (Innovation for Defence Excellence) initiative.
iDEX initiative was launched in 2018 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the DefExpo event held in Chennai with the objective to encourage and nurture innovation in the Indian defence sector. It was also aimed at creating an ecosystem where start-ups, MSMEs and individual innovators could interact easily with the Indian defence establishment to provide the latest technological innovations for specific challenges experienced in operational environments through co-development and co-production of innovative solutions.
The panoramic see-through armour system significantly improves the vehicle’s all-round survivability and enhances the vehicle’s capability to respond first and rapidly inflict damage.