India: Boosting surveillance capabilities of the army along the borders with China and Pakistan, the Indian government has cleared the procurement of around 15 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Israel at a cost of around Rs 1,200crore. A proposal to procure these Heron UAVs was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at its recent meeting. The proposal for procuring UAVs will bolster the Israeli-origin Heron and Searcher fleet of the force which deploys them on both the eastern and western sectors.
The force has a fleet of more than 40 such vehicles, which are expected to undergo upgrades in the near future. The IAF flies the Israeli-made Searcher II and Heron UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes and about 100 Searchers are in operation on Indian borders in western, northern and eastern regions.