Indian Navy To Buy 40 Shipborne Heron And Searcher UAV

India has announced an intention to procure 40 Naval Shipborne Unmanned Aerial Systems (NSUAS) for warships more than 100 m in length.

In a request for information (RFI) issued on 29 June, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Indian Navy said that the NSUAS will be used for surveillance tasks, including signals intelligence (SIGINT), target acquisition, reconnaissance, and maritime domain awareness around a naval task group.

Secondary roles would comprise anti-piracy, anti-terrorist activities, and assistance in Search-and-Rescue (SAR), the MoD said in the RFI document.

According to Israeli Aerospace Industries, the Indian Navy operates three unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) squadrons from shore-based locations. Indian Navy plans to arm each squadron with four IAI Heron Mk II and six IAI Searcher II UAVs.

The latest requirement is focused on procuring indigenously developed platforms.

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