India is reportedly purchasing more Heron drones from Israel, with the US Predator drone being another option it’s looking into, according to Indian media.
Military analysist Zhou Chenming said:
Drones can easily access places that are inaccessible for humans, and monitor important sites that are too hard to patrol. And India has shown it at a disadvantage in both the quality and quantity of its drones.
The IAI Heron drone, which is used by India, has a wingspan of 54 feet 6 inches and capacity of 551 pounds. The drone uses a Rotax 914 four-cylinder engine producing 115 horsepower. Heron has a maximum speed of 129 miles per hour and can stay in the air for up to 52 hours at a time. Fourteen countries, including the US and Australia, have used the Heron drones.
The Indian army also uses a smaller drone from IAI, the Searcher. It has a payload capacity of 150 pounds and wingspan of 28 feet. The drone uses a less powerful Limbach L 550 engine that only produces 47 horsepower. Searcher is able to fly at a maximum speed of 125 miles per hour for 18 hours at a time.
China is currently using its own custom-built drones to monitor the borders: the CAIG Wing Loong II or GJ-2 drone. The GJ-2 has a wingspan of 67 feet 3 inches and has a maximum takeoff weight of 9,259 pounds. The drone has a maximum speed of 230 miles per hour and can stay in the air for 32 hours at a time.
It is also believed that China is using its own CH-4 drone and the BZK-005C with a payload capacity of 331 pounds, a cruise speed of 93-112 miles per hour, and flight duration of 40 hours.
Photo: SSGT Reynaldo Ramon, USAF