The Indian Army, which is locked in a standoff with China’s People’s Liberation Army in eastern Ladakh, could soon get 6-Heron Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) on lease from Israel.
The multi-role drones, which has a mission endurance of around 30 hours and a range of over 1,000 kilometer, will be deployed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to monitor Chinese activities in areas along the frontier.
Along with this, The Ministry of Defence has been approached by the Indian Navy for the acquisition of the American MQ-9 drones, Hindustan Times reported.
Indian Army and the Indian Air Force already operate a large fleet of Heron drones, which are currently being upgraded with the latest systems, including new communication links. As the existing fleet of Heron drones lacks satellite communication links, two of these drones are launched with a time gap to ensure that surveillance data collected by the first one is relayed back to base through the second drone in case of long-range missions, a report says.
This is the first time the Indian Army will be leasing a platform. The development comes just months after the new Defence Acquisition Procedure was unveiled by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in September 2020.
After Israeli Heron, India To Acquire World’s Deadliest Drone – MQ-9 Predator From The US
By Anupama Ghosh– June 4, 2021
The Indian military is likely to procure US-made 10 MQ-9 Predator-B drones days after reports of the acquisition of Heron TP UAVs on lease from Israel. The move comes amid a protracted border standoff between India and China in the Ladakh region.
The Ministry of Defence has been approached by the Indian Navy for the acquisition of the American MQ-9 drones, Hindustan Times reported.
In November 2020, The Eurasian Times had reported that two MQ- 9B Sea Guardian UAVs ( a variant of Predator B) had been leased by the navy. They were deployed in the Indian Ocean Region to boost the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance abilities of the service.
The report had also mentioned the possibility of the acquisition of 18 more such drones from the US in the future. It is learned that the navy is satisfied with the performance of the US drones, thereby pushing for its speedy acquisition. The Predator-B drones will be procured through the US Foreign Military Sales route under a government-to-government agreement.