India strengthens border surveillance with 97 indigenous drones valued at Rs 10,000 crore

Drones meet Medium Altitude Long Endurance requirements and enhance monitoring capabilities for land and sea regions, reflecting India's commitment to defense modernisation.

In a major move to strengthen India’s defense capabilities, the nation is set to acquire 97 advanced drones under the ‘Make-in-India’ project, specifically made for border surveillance along China and Pakistan. This significant decision, valued at over Rs 10,000 crore, showcases India’s commitment to enhancing aerial surveillance and Unmanned Combat capabilities.

The Indian Defence forces, in collaboration with a joint scientific study, have carefully selected these drones to meet the Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) requirements. Designed to fly continuously for nearly 30 hours, these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are made to efficiently monitor both land and sea regions.


A significant aspect of this acquisition is the involvement of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as the lead service responsible for the procurement of these drones. The IAF, being at the forefront of India’s aerial defense, will receive the highest number of drones among all three defense forces.

This move towards indigenous drone production highlights India’s dedication to technological self-reliance and the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative. Alongside the recent acquisition of 31 MQ-9B Reaper drones from the United States, the country is now taking strides towards manufacturing advanced UAVs domestically, empowering its defense forces with new technology.

In addition to the 97 drones being procured, discussions during the Defence Acquisition Council Meet on June 15 also revolved around exploring similar-class drones, like the Reaper, from domestic vendors. This further underscores India’s focus on enhancing its aerial surveillance and Unmanned Combat capabilities.

Under the Project Cheetah initiative, Heron UAVs are modernising enhanced strike capabilities to improve targeting precision, adding another dimension to the nation’s defense preparedness.


With these state-of-the-art drones at their disposal, India’s defense forces are gearing up to strengthen border surveillance, safeguarding borders from potential threats. As the country moves forward with these ambitious projects, it reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding its territorial integrity and enhancing its defense capabilities.

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