India approves $400 million deal to buy 10 Israeli Heron drones

An Israeli Heron drone. Credit: Jose Ruiz, U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs.

( The Indian government has reportedly approved a $400 million deal to purchase 10 Israeli-made Heron TP drones.

Senior Indian defense officials said the project has been “accelerated under directions from the highest levels of government” and that the drones may join service “within a year,” India’s Economic Times reported. 

The Heron drones are similar in capability to the U.S. unmanned Predator drones, which are capable of reconnaissance, combat, and support roles. The Heron drones can carry a payload of more than 2,200 pounds and are equipped with air-to-ground missiles that can detect and destroy targets deep in enemy territory.

Indian officials believe the drones will enhance India’s ability to take out large terrorist camps or individual targets in hostile territory.

“It is very good if something like this is happening. Instead of sending a pilot in a high-risk area, it is best to use an armed drone. The system can also be used for a surprise, sneak attack,” former Indian Air Chief PV Naik said.

Posted on September 11, 2015 .