The Indian Navy will strengthen its surveillance capacity; To focus on acquiring New-Age technology

The Indian Navy plans to acquire a significant number of unmanned aerial and submarine platforms over the next few years to significantly increase its surveillance capability in the context of increasing China’s incursions into the Indian Ocean region. people familiar with the development said on Sunday.

The acquisition will be made as part of an unmanned platform roadmap, which was finalized at a key naval commanders conference last month that debated at length the need to procure platforms. -new-age shapes, they said.

“The roadmap looks at the needs of unmanned platforms and provides direction to meet demand while ensuring optimal use of resources,” said one of the people cited above. While the Navy’s primary focus is on acquiring unmanned platforms inside the country, it will also be looking at the best available drones and other related systems on the global market.

“The main objective will be to strengthen surveillance in strategic waterways, in line with developments in the Indian Ocean region,” said a second person. People said the main goal was to improve capabilities in the areas of long-range anti-submarine warfare (ASW), surveillance and reconnaissance.

In line with the roadmap for unmanned platforms, the third aircraft carrier is expected to be designed to accommodate both fighter jets and a fleet of drones, they said. India’s armed forces have focused on purchasing unmanned platforms, including armed drones, following the eastern Ladakh standoff with China and a drone strike on the base aerial view of Jammu.

Drones loaded with explosives were used to carry out the attack on Jammu Air Force station in June in the first case of such suspected terrorists based in Pakistan deploying unmanned aerial vehicles to strike vital military installations in India. The people named above said that the Indian Navy is also pushing for the purchase of 30 armed multi-mission Predator drones from the United States, which will cost more than $ 3 billion (approximately Rs 22,000 crore).

They said the government was likely to close the deal by March of next year. A proposal to acquire the MQ-9B long-endurance drones, armed with air-to-surface missiles, is expected to be approved by the Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) by next month.

Various key aspects of procurement, including the cost component and the weapons package, have already been finalized. Although the purchase proposal was put forward by the Indian Navy, the three services are expected to get 10 drones each.

Remotely piloted drones, manufactured by U.S. Defense Major General Atomics, are capable of staying in flight for approximately 35 hours and can be deployed in a variety of missions, including surveillance, reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, and destruction of enemy targets. . The Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Predator-B UAV is the first hunter-killer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance.

Last year, the Indian Navy received two rental Predator drones from the United States, primarily for surveillance of the Indian Ocean. The two unarmed MQ-9B drones were leased for one year with the option of extending the period for one year.

In February last year, India reached a $ 2.6 billion deal with the United States to purchase 24 MH-60 Romeo helicopters from U.S. aerospace major Lockheed Martin for the Navy. . The delivery of the helicopters has already started.


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