Indian Defence forces are set to acquire 97 'Made-in-India' drones for surveillance purposes along China and Pakistan borders, government sources on Monday said. After the decision to buy 31 Predator drones from US, India is now moving towards acquiring 97 highly capable drones under the 'Make-in-India' project. "A scientific study was carried out by the defence forces jointly and it has been decided that to meet the Medium Altitude Long Endurance requirements, Indian forces would require 97 such drones for keeping an eye on both land and sea," government. sources told ANI.
According to government sources the lead service for Thai over Rs 10,000 crore procurement of these drones would be the Indian Air Force as they also be getting the highest number of these unmanned aerial vehicles which would be able to fly for close to 30 hours at a stretch. The drones to be acquired by the forces would be in addition to the exiting fleet of over 46 Heron UAVs acquired by the three forces over the years in their respective fleets.
The drones which are already in service are going to be upgraded by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in partnership with the original equipment manufacturers through the 'Make-in-India' route where they will have to upgrade their capabilities within the country using over 60 percent Indian content. India recently decided to acquire the 31 Predator drones which are in the High Altitude Long Endurance category and would be used for surveillance of vast areas of Indian interest.