Sunday, August 13, 2023

India inducts new Heron Mark-2 drones, can stay in the air for 36 hours and surveil both Pakistan and China borders in one go

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force has inducted four new Heron Mark-2 drones, which have strike capability and can carry out surveillance along the borders with both China and Pakistan in a single sortie.

The drones have been deployed at a forward air base in the northern sector.

India deploys MiG-29 fighter jets squadron at Srinagar to handle threats from enemies on both fronts

The squadron operating the Heron Mark2 drones is known as the ‘Warden of the North’ and has been carrying out surveillance missions along the borders with both China and Pakistan. The drones are equipped with satellite communication links and are the most advanced drones in the armed forces.

"The Heron Mark 2 is a very capable drone. It is capable of longer endurance and has 'beyond line of sight' capability. With this, the entire country can be surveilled from the same place," commanding officer of the drone squadron, Wing Commander Pankaj Rana, told ANI.

All you need to know about the Heron Mark-2 drones:

  • The drones can operate at very long distances for close to 36 hours at a stretch. This ensures that multiple missions can be flown and multiple sectors can be addressed in one mission itself.
  • The drone is also capable of providing 24x7 surveillance of targets.
  • The standout feature of the Heron Mark-2 is its ability to perform Standoff Capability, gathering intelligence from tens of kilometers away without crossing borders, thanks to its ability to carry larger and improved sensors.
  • Modern avionics and engines have ensured that the operational ceilings of the aircraft have been increased.
  • It can reach an altitude of 35,000 feet, speed of 150 knots.
  • The Heron Mark 2 can also laser illuminate enemy targets from very long ranges to help fighter aircraft destroy them using their long-range weapons.
  • The payloads and onboard avionics can operate at sub-zero temperatures and in any weather condition.
  • Defence officials said the drones are capable of being equipped with weapons, and work towards weaponising them is in progress.
  • The drones can be equipped with air-to-ground missiles, air-to-ground anti-tank weapons, and bombs.

13/08/2023 Times of India

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