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Indian Air Force to get Heron surveillance drones and Spike ATGM from Israel


Amid tensions with China, Indian Air Forces are planning to acquire Heron surveillance drones and Spike anti-tank guided missiles from Israel to enhance its surveillance capabilities and firepower.

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India Air Forces to Get Heron Surveillance Drones Spike ATGM From Israel 925 001 Developed by Israel, Heron is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system. (Picture source: IAI)


According to government sources at the news agency ANI, ‘Heron UAVs need to be acquired to add these drones to existing fleet to meet the needs of the Indian Air Force fleet.

Indeed, the Heron unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are already in the Air Force, Navy, and the Army and are being used extensively at the moment by both Army surveillance and Target acquisition batteries and Air Force in the Ladakh sector.

The forces are also working towards inducting an armed version of the UAV, as well as upgrading the existing fleet into combat UAVs under the ambitious ‘Project Cheetah’ spearheaded by the Indian Air Force.


India Air Forces to Get Heron Surveillance Drones Spike ATGM From Israel 925 002 Developed by Israel, Heron is a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system. (Picture source: IAI)


About the Heron Drone:

The IAI Heron is a medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) developed by the Malat division of Israel Aerospace Industries.

It is capable of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) operations of up to 52 hours' duration at up to 10.5 km (35,000 ft). It has demonstrated 52 hours of continuous flight, but the effective operational maximal flight duration is less, according to payload and flight profile. An advanced version, the Heron TP, is also known as the IAI Eitan.

The Heron navigates using an internal GPS navigation device, and either a pre-programmed flight profile, manual override from a ground control station, or a combination of both. It can autonomously return to base and land in case of lost communication with the ground station. The system has fully automatic launch and recovery (ALR) and all-weather capabilities.

The Heron can carry an array of sensors, including thermographic camera (infrared) and visible-light airborne ground surveillance, intelligence systems (COMINT and ELINT) and various radar systems, totalling up to 250 kg (550 lb). The Heron is also capable of target acquisition and artillery adjustment.