India has taken two Sea Guardian drones, naval version of General Atomics MQ-9B on lease for one year . The drones known as “Predators” are one of the deadliest and top-notch surveillance drones in the world. They have been directly acquired from the company under ’emergency procurement’ of Defense Acquisition Procedure-2020.Let us know more about these drones with us below.
The Sea Guardian drones arrived in Arakkonam Naval Air Station, Tamil Nadu at the Indian Naval Station INS Rajaji & have been inducted by Indian Navy . The process to acquire 30 such drones in two different variants for land (Indian Army) and sea (Indian Navy) is underway .
Sea Guardian Drones are Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPA) /Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) capable of autonomous flight , designed to perform over-the-horizon long-endurance, medium-altitude Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. They can fly for around 40 hours in one stretch and have long service life of 40,000 hour .
Sea Guardian, can be configured for a vast range of maritime surveillance operations, including:
MQ-9B is powered by Honeywell TPE331-10 Turboprop which turns the propeller in the tail while generating power of 45kVA giving maximum flight altitude of 40,000 ft and max true airspeed of 210 knots .
Payload Capacity: 2177 kg – across 9 hardpoints (8 wing, 1 centerline)
Other Features :
- Raytheon MTS-B Electro-Optical/InfraRed
- De-ice/Anti-ice system
- Sense and Avoid
- All weather capable
- Damage tolerant airframe
- Lightning protection
- Automatic takeoff and land
- Fire protected engine bay
Post Script :
As the tensions are on the rise with the India’s biggest neighbor, People’s Republic of China, India’s control over the Indian ocean and Pacific region is the necessity to maintain the peace in the region. The Sea Guardian Drones are the boon for the Indian Navy’ surveillance over the region & with the Quad (India, Japan, US & Australia) more active & united than ever would help doing it better.
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