New drones have been deployed to keep an eye on heightened Chinese military activities along border areas

The Indian security forces have deployed new drones along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh and Sikkim sector in the eastern part of the country. The drones have been deployed to closely monitor heightened Chinese military activities along border areas.

“New drone squadrons with advanced unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying out surveillance missions up to two days have been deployed in the respective areas. While one squadron is deployed close to the Eastern Ladakh sector, the other one is in Assam-West Bengal border to keep an eye on the Sikkim sector,” defence sources told India Today.

The drones acquired for these two squadrons are far more advanced than the existing capabilities with the defence forces and can keep an eye on a larger area, they said. The Indian forces have acquired these drones with satellite communication links and their sensors are far more advanced than their existing inventory, sources said.

The Indian forces have been keeping a close watch on the Chinese military activities across the LAC from eastern Ladakh to the Arunachal Pradesh area and have enhanced their capabilities manifold after the unilateral aggression by the Chinese in Eastern Ladakh starting from the Galwan area in 2020. The new drones have not been equipped with strike capabilities but they have the option of being upgraded to those standards, the sources said.

India is also working on the ambitious Project Cheetah under which the security forces want to upgrade their existing fleet of Israeli-origin Heron with better communication facilities and missiles which can target enemy positions from long range.

As per plans, the project was to be completed with Israeli weapon manufacturers with Indian firms in the main lead role. The IAF is the main lead in the project under which the Israeli drones in the Navy and the Army are also planned to be upgraded with strike capabilities and better surveillance and reconnaissance pods.