The government has quietly approved the purchase of $400-million worth, 10 missile-armed Heron TP drones from Israel — a crucial acquisition that will enhance India’s cross-border military strike capability. These drones will be operated by the Indian Air Force, which has a fleet of reconnaissance drones.
The IAF also has a fleet of Harpy UAVs from Israel, which are self-destructing systems primarily tasked with taking out enemy radar positions.
Senior defence ministry officials said that the project has been accelerated under directions from the highest levels of government and that the armed drones may join service within a year. The armed forces had proposed buying the same armed drones in 2012.