IAF to up­grade Is­raeli-made UAV fleet

SP's MAI - - UNMANNED -

The IAF is plan­ning to join hands with an Is­raeli firm to up­grade the UAVs of the three ser­vices un­der a project worth over ` 5,000 crore to en­hance their snoop­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. The three ser­vices op­er­ate a fleet of over 150 un­manned ae­rial ve­hi­cles (UAVs) pro­cured from the Is­raeli Air­craft In­dus­tries (IAI) over the last few decades.

The IAF flies the Is­raeli-made Searcher II and Heron UAVs for re­con­nais­sance and sur­veil­lance pur­poses and about 100 Searchers are in op­er­a­tion on In­dian bor­ders in west­ern, north­ern and east­ern re­gions. Af­ter the up­grades, the IAF would be ca­pa­ble of op­er­at­ing th­ese air­craft from faroff dis­tances and con­trol them through satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem.

The army also op­er­ates a size­able num­ber of UAVs and has de­ployed them in bor­ders along the west­ern and east­ern fronts. The army was the first to in­duct UAVs in the 1990s start­ing with Searcher Mark I and Searcher Mark II which could op­er­ate at an al­ti­tude of 15,000 feet and fi­nally the Heron, which could op­er­ate at 30,000 feet.

The navy has also three op­er­a­tional squadrons of the Is­raeli UAVs de­ployed along both the east­ern and the west­ern sea board.

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