The harmony of technology and machinery that changed the face of modern warfare has finally made its way to India. Drones, the epitome of strategic attack and surveillance, have even been able to track down the world’s once most wanted terrorist, Osama Bin Laden.
In a bid to earn a tactical edge, Modi is likely to sign an agreement to purchase hefty arms from Israel. Talks are on that Heron TP armed drones will make their way to the Indian Air Force which will enable risk-free cross-border strikes. In 2016, India became a member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which opened opportunities for India to acquire the Heron TP drone.
The Heron TP drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) capable of Medium Altitude and Long Endurance (MALE). It has recorded maximum flight duration of 52 hours up to an altitude of 35,000 ft (10.5 km). Although it is capable of flying up to an altitude of 45,000 ft with a typical payload of 1000 kg. It is calibrated to detect, track and take down targets with the help of air-to-ground missiles.
In 2015, the Defence Ministry cleared a deal of $400 million which included the Heron-TP armed drones. According to Fortune, up till 2016, the weaponized drone club constituted 10 member countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and Pakistan. Now, India might become the latest addition to the club.
America, Israel, and China are the only three countries involved in the manufacture and selling of weaponized drones. The Air Force had requested to acquire 10 Heron TP drones from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). It is needless to say that the technology will prove to be a great addition, as the autonomous machine can be fitted with weapons to engage targets on the ground.
As we aim for the advancement of the technology incorporated in defense forces, the Heron TP drone will ensure precision with zero risk to the life of the operator. Let us not forget the number of lives lost in the Russian import Mig-21, infamously known as “flying coffins”.