India sends Heron drones to LAC to boost surveillance efforts



As you read this, India’s most potent Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), the Israel-made Herons, are being re-deployed from our western borders to those in the east, along the 4,057 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The relentless aggression of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) seems to have finally driven the army to take action.

The Army, as part of its larger plan to bolster surveillance and monitoring capabilities along the LAC, wants to replace all its Searcher MK-II UAVs – currently deployed along the border with China – with the Herons.

Though unrelated, this development comes just a day after the furore over the contents of a report filed by Shyam Saran, chairperson of the National Security Advisory Board (NSAB), indicating a loss of almost 640 sq km of Indian territory in eastern Ladakh to China.

It has been learnt that the army will soon issue a formal communication about the proposal, which came directly from the ground formations posted along the LAC, to the Defence Ministry, seeking the budget and to process it further.

“The issue with Searchers is that in terms of endurance and height ceiling, it is just not doing it for us. The demand for Herons comes primarily for that reason,” a senior officer said.

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