As the border stand-off with China in eastern Lakadh prolongs, the Indian Army is expected to get Israeli Heron and American mini-drones to boost its surveillance capabilities along the border areas. Under the emergency financial powers given by the government to the defence forces, the procurement of these drones is carried out under which they can purchase equipment and systems worth Rs 500 crores to boost their warfare capabilities in the midst of the ongoing border conflict with China.
"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," quoted ANI one of the sources as saying.
The other small or mini drones are bought from the US, which will be supplied to the forces on the ground at the Battalion level, and the manually operated drones will be used to raise awareness of a particular position or region in their specific areas of responsibility.
Amidst the ongoing conflict with China, the Indian defence forces have been using emergency powers to procure military weapons. Similar powers were granted to Indian forces after Balakot airstrikes in Pakistan against JeM terrorist camps.
Two Predator drones, taken from the American firm General Atomics using its special financial forces, have been leased by the Indian Navy. In addition, a significant number of Hammer air to ground standoff missiles with a strike range of about 70 kilometres have been acquired by the Air Force.
Drones: New Weapon in warfare
The utility of drones on the battlefield has completely changed the nature of warfare as it has been witnessed in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The extensive use of drones by Azerbaijan ensured a decisive victory against Armenia which suffered devastating blows due to this new weapon on the battlefield. Azerbaijan's victory is so significant that it is only the second time since the end of World War 2 that a nation has lost to its opponent in terms of territory and political target, the first being the 1971 Indo-Pak war.