Washington: – Indian defence forces are in the process of arming the Israeli Heron drones, in its fleet, with smart bombs. At the same time, the Indian defence forces have also expedited their moves to acquire the armed version of MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones, from the United States. A US periodical claimed that India is taking these steps to increase the preparedness of armed drones, given the rising tension with China. Whereas, reports are surfacing that China has successfully tested armed helicopter drone AR-500C on the Tibetan tableland.
India and China are firm on the military deployment in the Ladakh region and the winter is gradually intensifying. Carrying out military missions in this rare atmosphere and freezing winter can prove to be a major challenge. The popular US periodical claimed that in this scenario, unmanned attack drones could play an important role. China has indicated this by increasing the deployment of drones and the tests conducted. The periodical pointed out that, India too has taken expeditious steps to arm its drones.
It had already been reported, in June, that China has deployed drones to keep a vigil on the Indian military movements. It is not clear if these included the armed drones ‘Wing Lung’. But since the last few days, China is testing the armed drones AR-500C, on the Tibetan tableland and it is claimed that China will soon deploy these drones in this region. The Chinese mouthpiece recently published that this drone can carry 80 kilograms of explosives and has a flying span of five hours. The US periodical pointed out that India too, has started preparations to counter the Chinese drone deployment.
The periodical has referred to the reports published in the Indian media, over the last month. These reports state that India has initiated steps for arming the Israeli Heron drones, from its fleet, with smart bombs, meaning Laser Guided missiles. Indian defence forces possess 90 Heron drones. Indian Army, Airforce and Navy use these drones for surveillance purposes. But it was reported that preparations are being made to equip these drones with smart bombs along with advanced technology. It is claimed that these drones are being equipped with laser-guided bombs and anti-tank missiles, to target the locations and tank regiments of the enemy. Moreover, India has initiated rapid steps for purchase of armed version of ‘30 MQ-9B Sea Guardian’ drones, from the United States. The periodical also pointed out that reports had also been published that efforts are being made for urgent delivery of six to nine drones out of these.