Amidst tensions with China, India set to get MQ-9B Sky Guardian drone
New Delhi, Sep 29: The three services have come to a conclusion that India should opt for a weaponised drone. It was decided that India should have the weaponised MQ-9B Sky Guardian drone from the United States.
Further India will also upgrade its existing Heron fleet with satellite communications action capability. This would enhance its range as well as the surveillance capabilities amidst the military standoff with China at Ladakh.
The MQ-9B has a 40 hour endurance with a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet. It also has a payload capacity its of over 2.5 tonnes, which includes air to surface missiles and laser guided bombs.
In addition to this India has asked Israel to upgrade its existing Heron medium altitude, long endurance surveillance drone by upgrading its communication skills. This would include fitting the drone with a satellite package. This would ensure that the drone is linked with the satellite and the information is sent on a real time basis.
These would be crucial considering the fact that the People's Liberation Army has deployed unmanned devices in large capacities in the Ladakh theatre. Further the PLA has also deployed sensors and surveillance cameras which provide advance warnings.
The upgrade to the Heron will allow it to conduct long range surveillance without the fear of losing contact with the base. This upgrade programme was approved by the Defence Ministry last month.