After Predator drone lease, Indian Navy’s proposal to buy shipborne drones approved by the Government
For enhancing its surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean Region After hiring two predator drones from the US, the Indian Navy is now going to acquire 10 shipborne drones on an urgent basis, and for this Indian Navy has received the government approval recently.
According to the government sources “Indian Navy moved the proposal in fast track mode before the Defence Ministry, under which it will buy 10 Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial Systems for around Rs 1,300 crores has been cleared by the government.”
Under the Buy Global category the Indian Navy is planning to acquire these drones through an open bid and then for surveillance and reconnaissance activities it will soon deploy them on its large size warships. This would help them in keeping an eye on the activities of the Chinese as well as other adversaries in and around Indian territorial waters, they said.
For expanding its surveillance in the country’s areas of interest from Madagascar to Malacca Straits, the Indian Navy is working separately on a project to acquire Sea Guardian drones from the United States.
Under the upgrade programme which was recently taken up for discussion in the Defence Ministry the Navy is also getting its existing drones upgraded.
To conduct surveillance in the Indian Ocean region Indian Navy has inducted two American Predator drones on lease from the US. The drones are operating out of Indian Navy’s INS Rajali airbase and they are capable of carrying out surveillance for more than 30 hours.
Around mid-November the two Predator drones arrived in India and in the third week of November they entered into an operational role. Under a lease agreement with the American vendor, the Indian Navy has inducted these drones, according to the sources. As a part of the deal, a team to guide the personnel to operate the Predator drones has been deployed by the vendor.
From Drones to Missiles, List of Military Trials In 2021: A Huge Defence Leap for India
For the Indian defence progress 2020 has been an extraordinary year. From the induction of Rafale to the record testings of missiles, defence equipment and gun systems, India has rapidly achieved the status of self-reliant defence power. Taking the impulsion ahead, a series of military tests and trials are planned for the year 2020.
In 2021, the motto of “Atmanirbhar Bharat” will be aligned with the defence preparedness. In the induction exercises in 2021, All DRDO achievements of 2020 will be carried forward. The highlights of the 2021 defence endeavours include Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) shield, an Air-independent Propulsion (AIP) system for submarines, and drones and a number of missiles, including a BrahMos with an 800 km range.
Important trials in 2021
Aimed for integration with India’s fleet of six Scorpene submarines during a refit, the 2021 year will begin with the trials of the Air-Independent Propulsion AIP. The capacity of submarines to stay underwater for a longer duration will be enhanced with the trials for the indigenous AIP.
Another important trial of phase 2 of the Ballistic Missile Defence BMD will secure the country from all kinds of incoming missiles, including nuclear and flying objects, through a multi-tier defence system. Last year, the first phase programme was completed.
Scheduled to begin in early 2021, on the list is the full-fledged trial of the indigenous Rustom 2 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). Rustom 2 will be capable of carrying the electronic intelligence systems, synthetic aperture radar, and situational awareness systems, depending on mission objectives. The Rustom 2 UAV is a medium-altitude long-endurance system.
The fresh trials of the Indigenous Technology Cruise Missile (ITCM) Nirbhay will also begin in February 2021. ITCM has a range of 800-1,000 km, which will eventually enhance the might of Indian Armed Forces. The range of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will also be enhanced to 800 Km. In mid-2021, first trials of the 800 km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile will be done. Earlier this year, the 400-km variant of this missile was successfully tested.
Major defence deals expected
India will also witness some major defence deals besides these trials, in order to make the defence forces stronger. This year the induction of Rafales fighter jets will also get completed.
A list of more than 100 foreign defence procurements has been finalized by the government that will be discontinued in 2020. Indian alternatives will be made and procured by the defence forces for these products. By the end of 2021, the fulfilment of most of these requirements is aimed by the defence Ministry.