Indian Armed Forces are in the process of acquiring 91 Israeli Heron MK2 drones in the coming year. These UAVs will be Made in India wholly or partly according to a report by Srinjoy Chowdhury of TimesNow.
The deal would be worth ₹30,000 crores and the Army is to get 27, IAF 42 & Navy 22 drones. Serious Efforts are made to conclude the deal before 2024 Lok Sabha elections and the code of conduct is announced. That is the first step the Election Commission will make before the Lok Sabha elections and after that, no major decisions can be taken. Which means that a decision, if not taken before early March (when the code of conduct is likely to be announced) will have to wait till June after the new government settles in. But whether that can actually happen remains to be seen.
Heron MK2 has endurance of 40+ hrs & can fly at 35,000 ft alt. It can hold 500 Kg. of Payload of various Kinds to monitor various targets from considerable & safe distance. Indian Armed Forces are already operating various types of IAI drone since early 2000 including Searcher MK1 & 2 Heron MK1 & recently IAF inducted 4 Heron MK2 in 2023.