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31 MQ-9B armed drones

Source: Hindustan Times

  

Context: India’s defence ministry has approved the purchase of 31 MQ-9B armed drones from the US.

  • The drones, with an endurance of over 27 hours and an operating capability of up to 50,000 feet, will strengthen India’s defence capabilities.
  • The acquisition comes after increased tensions with China and will enhance India’s surveillance capabilities.

  

About MQ-9 drones:

  • The hunter-killer MQ-9 drones are capable of a variety of roles, including maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, over-the-horizon targeting, airborne early warning, and electronic warfare.
  • The Sky Guardian variant has a wingspan of 79 feet and can carry a payload of 2,155kg on nine hardpoints.
  • The Sea Guardian variant can fly over the horizon via satellite for more than 30 hours and has advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.