Indian Navy inducts 2 US Predator drones on lease, may be deployed at China border



#MUMBAI: The 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,” top government sources said.


The drones have already started flying operations and with an endurance capability of being in the air for over 30 hours, they are proving to be a big asset for the maritime force, they said. An American crew from the vendor is also accompanying the equipment and would help the Navy to operate the machines, the sources said.


The drones are flying in Indian colours and would be on lease with India for one year even as the three services are preparing the case for acquiring 18 more such drones from the US, the sources said.


India and America have been working very closely during the ongoing conflict against Chinese aggression in Eastern Ladakh including help in surveillance and information sharing in all domains, the sources said.