In a big boost for the Indian Navy's surveillance capabilities in the vast Indian Ocean Region (IOR), the government has cleared the procurement of 10 shipborne drone systems for Rs 1,300 crore, reports Economic Times.
The Indian Navy will now be procuring the drones through an open bid under the "Buy Global" category and thereafter deploy the drones on its large size warships. The drones will help in the detection of the activities of adversaries including Chinese forces in and around Indian territorial waters.
In addition to this, the Indian Navy is also working on the procurement of Sea Guardian drones from the United States (US) besides upgrading its existing drones.
It should be noted that the Indian Navy had recently leased two Predator drones from the US. These drones are capable of carrying out surveillance for more than 30 hours. These are now operating out of Indian Navy's INS Rajali airbase.
The force had received the two drones in mid-November, following which these were operationalised in the third week of November under an agreement with a US-based vendor which has also deployed a team in India to guide the Indian Navy personnel on the operation of Predator drones.
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