Indian Army leases four Heron UAVs from Israel


Heron UAVs from Israel
The four medium-altitude long endurance UAVs are expected to be delivered to the Indian Army between August and December. File photo: Reuters

NEW DELHI : The Indian Army has leased four Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) made by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for possible deployment along the 3,488-km India-China border.

The medium-altitude long endurance UAVs are expected to be delivered between August and December, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The lease agreement was signed in mid-January using the emergency powers given to the armed forces to speed up purchases, a second person aware of the matter said. The lease period is for three years, this person added.

Senior military commanders of India and China and diplomats are expected to meet soon to discuss pulling back troops from contentious areas along the LAC.

Against this backdrop, monitoring the whole of the LAC—from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh —would have to be done with a mix of technology, like UAVs, and soldiers being deployed at critical areas seen as vulnerable to incursions. According to former diplomats and Indian Army officers, there are 23 such points across the LAC.