India considering buying ‘armed version’ of Israeli drone

The Heron TP is Israel's largest unmanned aerial vehicle with an 85-foot wingspan, the same as a Boeing 737 airliner. It can stay airborne for 24 hours and carry a 1-ton payload.

IAI Heron TP static display at ILA 2018 (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
IAI Heron TP static display at ILA 2018
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
India is reportedly considering purchasing 10 Israeli-made drones with missile-launching capabilities, according to a report in the Indian press.
The Tribune, an Indian newspaper, reported Sunday that New Delhi is looking at the drone capable of carrying missiles - an armed version of the Israeli Heron TP, Israel’s long-range drone said to be capable of flying to Iran.
The Heron TP is Israel's largest unmanned aerial vehicle with an 85-foot wingspan, the same as a Boeing 737 airliner. It can stay airborne for 24 hours and carry a 1-ton payload.
While Israel doesn't openly admit it, foreign media reported that the Heron TP is also capable of launching air-to-surface missiles.
Sources told the paper that the Indian Ministry of Defense had approved the deal last May. “We are working to finalize the deal that is estimated to be $400 million,” sources told The Tribune.
If the deal goes ahead, it would be the first drones that India could use to launch attacks against ground targets. India is one of Israel’s primary markets for defense exports.
In July, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems signed a $100 million contract with KRAS (Kalyani Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd. India), to manufacture and supply 1,000 Barak 8/ MRSAM missile kits for the Indian Army and Air Force.
Israel has been supplying India with various weapons systems, missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in recent years, making the Asian giant one of Israel’s largest buyer of military hardware with annual sales worth over $1 billion.


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