ANI Photo | Predator drones to be operated by joint tri-services command, orders for 31 UAVs placed after scientific assessment

As many as 31 Predator drones, to be acquired by India from the US soon, would be operated by the tri-services jointly.
Speaking to ANI, a senior defence official said, “The decision to buy 31 (Predator or Reaper) drones for taking care of complete surveillance requirements was taken after a scientific assessment.”
“The Predator drones would be operated by a joint tri-services command, which will include officers and men from all three services. The proposal in this regard in the defence acquisition council was also sent by the tri-services headquarters,” the official said.
A detailed scientific analysis was carried out by officers from the tri-services to arrive at the number of unmanned aerial vehicles of this long endurance variety.
“The analysis done under the Chief of Defence Staff and his integrated defence staff team suggested that for looking after the land borders and the aerial surveillance, 16 birds (attack drones) would be required,” the official added.
“For looking after the maritime borders and the islands, the study suggested that India would require 16 drones,” the official said.
“All the future deals by the tri-services, including ones for helicopters, drones and air defence weapon systems, would be done in the same manner,” the official added.
India and the US are expected to ink the deal for the acquisition of 31 Predator drones during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden state visit to the US.
India shares vast maritime and land boundaries with two major adversaries — Pakistan and China — and requires constant monitoring of their activities to safeguard its national security interests.
The Predators, also called the MQ-9 Reaper, can fly up to 36 hours at a stretch and can be used for focused monitoring of any specific point or area of interest.
Indian personnel would also, very soon, be provided training to deal with the ground-station equipment and the birds, both in both India and the US where it is manufactured.

This report is filed by ANI news service.

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