(This News Article Is Originally Posted on Times Now News by Srinjoy Chowdhury)
The Indian Army has leased four Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from Israel as part of its emergency procurement programme. The Heron, with the Indian Army for some years, can be particularly effective in intelligence gathering as it is a long-endurance UAV and can be in the air for about 50 hours at a time.
The lease comes with the defence ministry changing the rules and allowing for the leasing of certain weapon systems. Similarly, the Navy has leased Predator drones from the United States.
The Herons apart, the Army has used its emergency powers to ensure that it has enough ammunition and spares for a two-week war, even if it is on two-fronts, high-level sources said. The emergency powers, given by the government in the wake of the situation in Ladakh, has allowed the army to get necessary spares and ammunition and also, strengthen its anti-tank weaponry and buy much needed anti-aircraft systems.
The Army has acquired the Igla and the Strela air defence systems from Russia. The former is shoulder-fired and the latter is man-portable. While neither is state-of-the-art, they are considered effective and efficient.
The Israeli Spike anti-tank missile system has also been purchased. The Spike is already with the Indian army, but more have been picked up.
While loitering munitions have been available for some years, they have never been part of the army’s arsenal. Now, the Indian army, keeping in mind what has happened in the troubles between Azerbaijan and Armenia, acquired loitering munitions that can be “reused” after they are launched.
Tatra trucks, to major weapons systems including missiles, are also being bought, as also, tank transporters. Some of the weapon systems have come in. Others are on their way.