HomeIndian Air PowerIndia secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones...

India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones at a forward air base in Northern Sector

Source : WION

India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable drones at a forward air base in Northern Sector
Image Source : Twitter

India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones at a forward air base in Northern Sector

Securing the country’s skies further, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Sunday (August 13) inducted four strike-capable Heron Mark 2 drones at a forward air base in the northern sector. The state-of-the-art drones are fitted with long-range missiles and a sophisticated weapons system, giving the forces an unparalleled advantage of striking at the enemy from afar.

The drone has the strike and reconnaissance capability, rolled into one which allows it to monitor any situation along the border with both China and Pakistan in a single sortie. Reports stated that the drone’s satellite link gives it the ability to operate 45 hours on a stretch.

According to Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which manufactures the drone, Heron Mark 2 “has a wider and stronger body structure” due to an improved manufacturing process, “allowing for quick and easy maintenance without adding to its weight”.

“The drone simply amalgamates into the Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance matrix of the Indian Air Force,” said Wing Commander Pankaj Rana, the commanding officer of the drone squadron which is named “Warden of the North”.

A message to enemies 

The induction of the drones is an attempt to send a stern warning to India’s enemies that the country has ushered in a new era of surveillance and strike capability, experts said.

During an operation, the drone illuminates a potential target using a laser from long range which enables fighter jets to destroy them using pinpoint precision. Most importantly, the Heron Mark 2 drone can operate in any weather and on any terrain, granting forces the capability to strike in extreme conditions.

“The payloads and the onboard avionics of the Heron Mark 2 can operate at sub-zero temperatures and in any weather condition. This is helping the Indian Air Force achieve footprints over any type of terrain,” Squadron Leader Arpit Tandon, a pilot of the Heron Mark 2 drone was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Currently, the IAF is working on Project Cheetah, under which 70 Heron drones are being upgraded with satellite communication links and weapons to meet the armed forces’ requirements. Apart from the Mark 2 drones, the authorities are also acquiring  31 Predator drones, which are in the high-altitude, long-endurance category.  India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones India secures its skies further as IAF inducts strike-capable Heron Mk2 drones IgMp

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