India leases 2 SeaGuardian drones from US
Indian Navy has leased two MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs from the outgoing Donald Trump administration to boost its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, in the midst of the border row with China.
According to news agency ANI, American-origin drones have been inducted by the Navy under the emergency procurement powers granted by the Defence Ministry in view of the India-China border conflict.
"The drones arrived in India in the second week of November and were inducted into flying operations on November 21 at Indian Navy base at INS Rajali," ANI quoted top government sources as saying.
Considering that the Navy is using these drones, there is speculation that they will be used to keep a tab on Chinese naval activity in the region.
An American crew from the vendor is also accompanying the equipment and would support the Navy in operating the machines, sources tol ANI.
The aircraft is provisioned for our state-of-the art Detect and Avoid system, which is a key technology for RPA to fly safely in civil airspace alongside manned aircraft. Additionally, the aircraft is designed to survive bird and lightning strikes.
The SeaGuardian RPAS features a multi-mode maritime Raytheon SeaVue surface-search radar provided continuous tracking of maritime targets and correlation of AIS transmitters with radar detections. The Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) mode facilitates classification of vessels which are beyond optical sensor range.
The sensor suite, augmented by automatic track correlation and anomaly-detection algorithms, enables real-time detection and identification of surface vessels over thousands of square nautical miles.