Israeli drones to help Indian army keep an eye on Chinese activites along the LAC; Here’s how

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Updated: May 28, 2021 11:19 AM

Financial Express Online had reported earlier that the Indian Army was planning to buy these drones, however, now it is planning to lease around four drones over the next few months.

Israeli dronesThe Army will get two drones by August and will be deployed along the eastern Ladakh region.

In view of the ongoing standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army is planning to lease Israel’s Heron TP drones. These drones – Heron will be deployed along the LAC to keep a watch on the Chinese troops and their activities.

Financial Express Online had reported earlier that the Indian Army was planning to buy these drones, however, now it is planning to lease around four drones over the next few months.

The Army will get two drones by August and will be deployed along the eastern Ladakh region.

Also Read: Future warfare and drones: AI-enabled stealthy combat drones in Indian skies

More about Heron TP Drone

Based on the information available – Heron TP has the capability of flying for almost 45 hours at an altitude of 35 thousand feet. By deploying them along the LAC they will be a constant eye in the sky keeping a watch on the enemy.

These drones have automatic cab-takeoff and landing (ATOL) technology, and also satellite systems. They are equipped with ultra-long range surveillance cameras.

As reported by Financial Express Online earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has drawn up plans to upgrade around 90 Heron drones that are being operated by the Indian Army.

The Heron TP Drones were leased last year too from Israel and were deployed by the Indian Army. “The Army was satisfied with the performance of these drones, that is why a decision has been taken to lease them again,” a source confirmed to Financial Express Online.

Besides the drones from Israel, Indian Army is also expected to get ten drones from the US based General Atomics. “The DAC was expected to give its approval for the drones from the US earlier this month. However, due to the surge in COVID cases, procurement plans have not been discussed,” said the source quoted above.

What is India planning to buy from the US?

There are plans to buy 30 UAVs from General Atomics – 10+10+10 for all the three services.

Also Read: Evolution of UAV Squadrons of Indian Navy to a Combat Ready Force in the Indo-Pacific

According to experts, Drone Technology has evolved and their role in combat cannot be ruled out. The drones with different configurations can now be fitted with precision guided munitions and can be deployed in Air operation. This means that besides the surveillance and reconnaissance operations, they can be used for targeting too.

What is the Indian Army doing?

The Indian Army is working on plans to ensure that the Force Commander receives real or near-real-time Situational Awareness information. The information transmitted to him will be mainly focused on the area of his interest. And they will be part of the multi-layer sensor grid network.

What is being considered by the Indian Army?

UAVs/UCAVs which can carry payloads including Data-link repeaters, Electro-optic sensors, Electronic Warfare gadgets, etc.

For covert reconnaissance missions, surveillance, intrusion detection and border patrol — Micro/Mini/Nano drones. There are smaller drones too which have the capability to carry special payloads like explosives etc. and can operate in day/night.

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