MQ 9 REAPER DRONES
- Recently, Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) approved the procurement of armed Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), USA.
- India and the United States are expected to sign a $3 billion deal for MQ-9 Reaper or Predator B drones.
MORE ABOUT THE NEWS:
- India will buy 30 MQ-9 Reaper drones from American manufacturing firm General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).
- This will be a tri-service acquisition with Indian Navy getting a larger share than the Army and the Air Force,
- The procurement is now awaiting the final nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security.
ABOUT REAPER DRONES/UAVs:
- The MQ-9 UAV has an endurance of over 27 hours, speeds of 240 KTAS, can operate up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1,746 kilograms) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms) of external stores.
- The maritime variant of the MQ-9 UAV, known as Sea Guardian, has an endurance of over 30 hours.
- The MQ-9 Reaper drone is equipped to carry multiple mission payloads to include “Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR), Lynx multi-mode Radar, multi-mode maritime surveillance radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), laser designators, and various weapons and payload packages”.
HOW WILL MQ-9 DRONES BENEFIT INDIA ?
- With its long-endurance, persistent surveillance and strike capability, the MQ-9 Reapers can enhance the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of India’s armed forces.
- These Predator B drones can help India in long-range surveillance and strike capabilities both in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and on the land borders.
- These armed drones can help Indian forces to “launch remote-controlled operations and surgical strikes, such as on terrorist hideouts in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and engage targets on the Himalayan borders with China.”
- It can also undertake close air support, combat search and rescue, precision strike, buddy-lase, convoy and raid overwatch, route clearance, target development, and terminal air guidance.
SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, CURRENT AFFAIRS
SOURCE: INDIAN EXPRESS