India's Acquisition of 31 MQ-9B Predator Drones Will Greatly Enhance Defences Along IOR, LAC and LOC

India's Acquisition of 31 MQ-9B Predator Drones Will Greatly Enhance Defences Along IOR, LAC and LOC

The sale of 31 MQ-9B Predator drones to India was recently approved by the US, which is a major step forward for India's defence modernization initiatives.

Equipped with cutting-edge surveillance and strike capabilities, these drones would greatly augment the ability of the Indian Armed Forces to conduct operations in all three branches (IOR, LAC and LOC).

The MQ-9Bs will improve the Indian Navy's maritime patrol and surveillance capabilities with their long-range capability and sophisticated sensors. Large tracts of the Indian Ocean Region can be efficiently monitored by them, preventing possible threats and ensuring the safety of vital marine channels.

Under the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, the drones provide vital battlefield visibility. Their ability to obtain intelligence and high-resolution images will be extremely helpful in gaining understanding of Chinese military activities, troop movements, and infrastructure construction. This increased situational awareness will be useful in making strategic decisions and keeping a proactive stance.

The MQ-9Bs will also help improve India's defences along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan. Monitoring ceasefire breaches, infiltration efforts, and terrorist activity will be greatly aided by their aerial surveillance capabilities. These drones' presence will also act as a deterrent to any possible attack.

Important Features of the MQ-9B​

  • High Endurance: These drones can stay airborne for up to 40 hours, providing persistent surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Advanced Sensors: Equipped with electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras and synthetic aperture radar (SAR), the MQ-9Bs can gather detailed information in diverse weather conditions.
  • Strike Capability: The armed variant carries Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs, offering precision strike capabilities against ground targets.

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