India’s military wants to arm the country’s Israeli-made drones with smart bombs.
“Amid border tension with China, the armed forces are pushing a case for arming their Heron UAVs with laser-guided bombs, precision-guided munitions and anti-tank missiles for taking out enemy positions and armored regiments” according to India’s Economic Times newspaper.
In addition, the Indian armed forces plans to request an armed version of the U.S.-made MQ-9B SeaGuardian, an upgraded maritime variant of the MQ-9 Reaper strike and surveillance drone. “The three services have come to a conclusion that India should opt for a weaponized drone rather than the 22 reconnaissance and surveillance Sea Guardian drones approved in 2017 by the U.S, administration for supply to India,” government sources told the Hindustan Times.
If the reports are true, then India will amass a formidable fleet of armed Israeli and U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles. India already has 90 Herons, split among the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force.