Navy to commission UAV squadron at Porbandar

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:26

New Delhi: Aiming at enhancing coastal surveillance capabilities, the Navy is going to commission a squadron of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at Porbandar in Gujarat on January 17.

The squadron will comprise Israeli-made Searcher and
Heron UAVs and would help in enhancing our surveillance
capabilities off the coast of Gujarat, Navy officials said
here.

The Indian Navy had commissioned its first UAV
reconnaissance squadron at its base in Kochi in January, 2006
and is one of the few maritime forces to be using such
equipment.

The Navy is also planning to acquire high-altitude long
endurance (HALE) UAVs.

In an RFI (Request For Information) issued recently, the
Navy has specified that it wants a platform with at least 25
hours mission endurance, an all up weight of no more than 15
tons, service ceiling of 40,000 feet and cruise speed of 100
knots.

The Navy presently uses a small mix of Israeli Heron and
Searcher Mk2 UAVs, and is making efforts to acquire shipborne
unmanned rotorcraft.

Post 26/11, India has taken several measures to
strengthen coastal security after terrorists sailed close to
the Gujarat coast in a dhow and reached Mumbai to launch
multiple attacks on various targets.

To plug gaps in the radar coverage of its over 7,500 km
coastline, the Government has also decided to deploy coastal
surveillance radars atop 90 light houses along both the
eastern and western sea boards.

Under the plan, the light houses would also be fitted
with cameras capable of operating during both day and night to
keep an eye on the movement of vessels in coastal areas.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 22:26

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