The Indian Navy has leased two MQ-9B segmental unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the US. This will increase intelligence, surveillance and enemy’s ability to carry out reconnaissance. The officials associated with this case gave this information on Wednesday. Officials said on condition of anonymity that these drones have been taken on lease for a year.
The high tech UAV pedders are variants of the B drones, produced by the American company General Automix. It is stationed at the Rajali Naval Air Station in Tamil Nadu, where Indian Navy’s P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft are also stationed. Officials said the UAVs arrived in early November and have engaged in missions since last week.
The MQ-9B is the first military hardware to be leased after the government’s decision to lease equipment for the military. Under the Defense Acquisition Procedure 2020, which came into effect from October 1, leasing of arms and equipment has been allowed to reduce the expenditure on arms purchases.
The MQ-9B UAVs capable of operating from an altitude of 40 thousand feet can fly continuously for 30 hours and are capable of viewing up to 5 thousand nautical miles. With their help, the Indian Navy can monitor a large area in the Indian Ocean. India has made plans to deploy 30 such UAVs, including weapons drones.