Sunday, November 17, 2019

IAF may acquire armed drones

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is going in for a change in its unmanned arsenal. Two types of armed drones with capability to carry missiles are being finalised. The IAF is looking at the armed version of a drone made by US company General Atomics and the armed version of the Israeli “heron”, which the IAF currently uses for surveillance.
Sources confirm that talks are on to acquire 10 “Heron TP” version of the heron family. The Ministry of Defence had okayed the proposal in May last year. “We are working to finalise the deal that is estimated to be $400 million,” sources said. This could be the first drone in the Indian arsenal to have a missile-strike ability hence can be used to hit at targets without sending a man on the mission on board a fighter jet. The armed forces had proposed buying armed drones in 2012.

At present, the IAF has a fleet of “Harop” drones from Israel, which are self-destructing “kamikaze” style drones which can crash into high-value enemy military targets. The Air Force already has an inventory of around 110 of these and in February another 54 were okayed.
17/11/19 Ajay Banerjee/Tribune
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