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Israel, US to boost India’s weapon systems to fight China

Washington assures New Delhi standing alongside in anti-terror war,

affirms its commitment to hold perpetrators of 26/11 accountable

NEW DELHI: The war-like situation between China and India is becoming more serious and hostile. In a major boost to its capabilities, the Indian Army is soon going to get Israeli Heron and American mini drones for upgrading its surveillance capabilities in Eastern Ladakh and other areas along the China border.

The deals for the acquisition of the Heron surveillance drones is in the final stages and is expected to be inked in December. The Herons are going to be deployed in the Ladakh sector and they will be more advanced than the existing fleet in the Indian armed forces,” Ajit K. Dubey has reported for ANI quoting government sources in New Delhi.

The acquisition of these drones is being done under the emergency financial powers granted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government to the defence forces under which they can buy equipment and systems worth Rs 500 crores to upgrade their warfighting capabilities, amid ongoing border conflict with China, they added.

According to sources, the other small or mini drones are being acquired from the US that will be provided at the Battalion level to the troops on ground and the hand-operated drones would be used to attain awareness about a specific location or area in their respective areas of responsibility.

The Indian defence forces have been taking these initiatives to acquire weapon systems which can help them in the ongoing conflict with China. The last time such a facility was given to the defence forces was in 2019 right after the Balakot air strikes against what India says the terrorist camps in Pakistan.

Using the same facility, the Indian Navy has leased two Predator drones which have been taken from American firm General Atomics. The Indian Air Force had exercised the same powers to acquire a large number of Hammer air to ground standoff missiles with a strike range of around 70 kilometres.

In a sign of growing closeness between India and the United States amid conflict with China, the Indian Navy has inducted two Predator drones from an American firm on lease for carrying out surveillance in the Indian Ocean Region and which can also be deployed along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.

The American-origin drones have been inducted by the Navy under the emergency procurement powers granted by the Defence Ministry in view of the India-China border conflict. “The drones arrived in India in the second week of November and were inducted into flying operations on November 21 at Indian Navy base at INS Rajali,” top government sources told ANI.

The drones have already started flying operations and with an endurance capability of being in the air for over 30 hours, they are proving to be a big asset for the maritime force, they said. An American crew from the vendor is also accompanying the equipment and would support the Navy in operating the machines, the sources said.

US assurance

On the 12th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the United States on Thursday said that it is standing alongside India in the fight against terrorism, and affirmed its commitment to holding the perpetrators of the attack accountable and ensuring justice for the victims.

On November 26, 2008, ten terrorists trained by the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) carried out a series of coordinated attacks against multiple targets in Mumbai including the Taj Mahal hotel, the Oberoi hotel, the Leopold Cafe, the Nariman (Chabad) House, and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station, killing 166 people.

“On the 12th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai attack, the US reaffirms its commitment to holding the perpetrators accountable and ensuring justice for the victims, including six Americans. Standing alongside our Indian partners, we remain resolute in the fight against terrorism,” the US Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs of state department tweeted. (ANI)