In a major boost to its capabilities, the Indian Army is soon going to get Israeli Heron and American mini drones for upgrading its surveillance capabilities in Eastern Ladakh and other areas along the China border.
"The deals for the acquisition of the Heron surveillance drones is in the final stages and is expected to be inked in December. The Herons are going to be deployed in the Ladakh sector and they will be more advanced than the existing fleet in the Indian armed forces," government sources told ANI.
The acquisition of these drones is being done under the emergency financial powers granted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to the defence forces under which they can buy equipment and systems worth Rs 500 crores to upgrade their warfighting capabilities, amid ongoing border conflict with China, they added.
According to sources, the other small or mini drones are being acquired from the US that will be provided at the Battalion level to the troops on ground and the hand-operated drones would be used to attain awareness about a specific location or area in their respective areas of responsibility.
The Indian defence forces have been taking these initiatives to acquire weapon systems which can help them in the ongoing conflict with China. The last time such a facility was given to the defence forces was in 2019 right after the Balakot air strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan.
Using the same facility, the Indian Navy has leased two Predator drones which have been taken from American firm General Atomics.
The Indian Air Force had exercised the same powers to acquire a large number of Hammer air to ground standoff missiles with a strike range of around 70 kilometres.