Indian Armed Forces may get 30 armed drones

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New Delhi
Indian Army, Navy and Airforce can get Armed Drones. The need for 10-10 armed drones for the three services is expected to get the approval of the Defense Acquisition Committee (DAC) this time. For a long time, the Armed Forces have been placing their requirement in front of the Defense Ministry to take MQ-9C (Predator Drone) from America. The Indian Navy currently has two Predator drones operating in the Indian Ocean. These drones are unarmed, that is, they can be monitored but cannot be attacked. These are leased from the US. Navy also needs armed drones. That’s why talks are going on for this for a long time. Under the chairmanship of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, the DAC can take a decision on this and the AON (Acceptance of Necessity) can be approved. If it is approved, then it will be the first such purchase after becoming the post of CDS, which will be done by the three armies (Army, Navy, Airforce). In 2018, the US offered an armed version of the Guardian drone to India. India was earlier looking at the option of both an unarmed (without weapons) guardian drone for the Navy and an armed drone to attack. But then it was agreed that attack and surveillance can be done with the same drone. Initially the Navy was looking for armed drones for itself, then the Army and the Air Force also told the need for armed drones, so it was decided that all three could take armed drones together. India has been able to get 30 Predator-B drones from the US, out of which the Army, Navy and Air Force will get 10 each. It can stay in the air for 48 hours and has a range of 6000 nautical miles. It consists of 9 hard points that can be fitted with sensors, laser guided bombs and surface-to-surface missiles. It can carry a payload of two tonnes. The Indian Navy will seek the approval of the DAC (Defence Acquisition Committee) for the High Altitude Log Endurance (HALE) UAVs. The Army, Navy and Air Force together have fulfilled its qualitative requirement. America has also given in-principle consent to sell these armed drones to India. Tension has been going on between India and China in Eastern Ladakh since May last year. After which its need was felt more so that the drones staying in the air for a long time could keep constant surveillance.

[Attribution to NBT]

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