The Indian Defense forces are preparing to procure 97 indigenous drones for surveillance purposes along the borders of China and Pakistan, as stated by government sources on Monday.
Following the decision to purchase 31 Predator drones from the United States, India is now progressing towards obtaining 97 highly advanced drones as part of the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative.
Government sources revealed that a collaborative scientific study conducted by the defence forces led to the decision of acquiring 97 drones to fulfil the Medium Altitude Long Endurance requirements, enabling comprehensive monitoring of both land and sea areas.
As per these sources, the Indian Air Force would be the primary recipient in the procurement of these drones, with the largest allocation among the three forces. These unmanned aerial vehicles will have the capability to fly uninterrupted for nearly 30 hours at a stretch.
The forthcoming drones will complement the existing fleet of over 46 Heron UAVs, which have been acquired by the three forces over the years in their respective fleets.
To enhance their capabilities, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, in collaboration with the original equipment manufacturers, will upgrade the drones already in service through the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative. This upgrade process will involve utilizing over 60 per cent indigenous content.