DAC approves procurement of armed UAV MQ-9 Predator drones from US

Tags: National Defence National News

UAV-MQ-9India’s defence ministry on 15th June approved the acquisition of 31 MQ-9B armed drones from the US.

An overview of the news

  • The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) has approved the purchase of armed Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at a cost of over $3 billion.

  • The UAVs will be procured from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI), a United States-based aeronautical company.

What are Predator Drones?

  • The Predator UAV, produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI), is commonly referred to as the MQ-9.

  • The MQ-9 has an impressive endurance, capable of flying for over 27 hours without refueling.

  • It can reach speeds of up to 240 KTAS (Knots True Airspeed).

  • The UAV is designed to operate at high altitudes, with a maximum operating ceiling of 50,000 feet.

  • It possesses a substantial payload capacity, allowing it to carry up to 3,850 pounds (1,746 kilograms) of equipment, sensors, or other mission-specific payloads.

  • Additionally, the MQ-9 has the capability to carry external stores, such as weapons or additional fuel, with a maximum weight of 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms).

Benefits of the MQ-9 UAV

  • The MQ-9 UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) exhibits an increased payload capacity and horsepower in comparison to its predecessor, the MQ-1 Predator.

  • It offers extended endurance, persistent surveillance, and the ability to carry out strikes, providing valuable capabilities for military operations.

  • The MQ-9 UAV has a maritime variant known as the Sea Guardian.

  • The Sea Guardian variant of the MQ-9 UAV possesses an impressive endurance capability of over 30 hours, making it suitable for maritime surveillance and other related missions.

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