Importance Of Drones In The Indian Subcontinent

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are a type of aircraft that does not carry a pilot. They are controlled by a ground-based controller, or by an onboard computer. Originally they were designed to replace humans on missions that were considered too dangerous, or not appropriate for human pilots. They were mostly used for military purposes when they were first invented but today they can be seen in use for other purposes as well, such as for scientific research, agricultural use, recreational use, commercial use, and for surveillance, police work, peacekeeping missions, racing, and for illegal activities such as smuggling.

General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper - Wikipedia
U.S. Air Force MQ-9A Reaper
  • There is a program in place in Africa and Asia that uses drones to help catch poachers.
  • American Predator drones being used in Iraq had their video feeds interrupted by insurgents using a program called Sky-Grabber that cost only $23.
  • The U.S. military uses drones a lot. It is estimated that roughly 30% of their aircraft are drones.
  • It is estimated that there will be more than 20,000 drones in the sky in the United States within 15 years.
  • The U.S. military uses drones a lot. It is estimated that roughly 30% of their aircraft are drones.
  • The first time drones were used in combat was in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.
  • In 2012 there were more drone pilots trained in the US than pilots trained for bomber and fighter jets.
  • In 2000 a US drone spotted a man that looked like Bin Laden but because the drones were not armed back then they could not attack.
  • Police are using drones for surveillance and drug busts, however the legality of their use is in question due to warrant issues.
  • One week prior to 9/11, the first armed predator drone flights began.

India plans to finalize a major defence deal with the US to procure 30 armed drones worth $3 billion by acquiring 30 MQ-9 Reaper to deploy 10 each in the three services, defence sources said. The deal is expected to be closed during USA’s Secretary of Defence General Lloyd J. Austin’s visit to India from 19 to 21 March. Austin is expected to meet Rajnath Singh and other senior dignitaries of the government of India. The MQ-9B Predator drones are manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics. The MQ-9B has an endurance of 48 hours and a range of over 6,000 nautical miles. It carries a maximum payload of two tons. The drone comes with nine hard-points, capable of carrying sensors and laser-guided bombs besides air-to-ground missiles.

Swarm drones can overwhelm and effectively suppress an enemy’s air defence capability, creating windows of opportunities for strike elements. A physical hit is not necessary to destroy a target. Offensive capabilities in the digital domain can effectively neutralize satellites and networks, denying them at critical juncture to decisively alter the course of the conflict, the Army Chief had said.

India is becoming a strategic defence partner for the US, especially countering Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean. The deal was first approved by the US State Department in June 2017, initially to sell 22 drones to India. However, in view of the escalating tensions on the borders with Pakistan and China, the Defence Ministry last year increased the order for 30 drones at a cost of USD 3 billion. The MQ-9 is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF). The Indian Navy began operating two leased MQ-9B Sea-Guardians in November 2020. The drones are deployed at the Naval Air Station Rajali.

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Pranjal Ray

    Jadavpur University student with an interest in weapons, Indian military, war history, and katanas. Not a war-monger.

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