India Inducts New Heron Mark-2 Drones

  • 16 Aug 2023

On 13th August, 2023, the Indian Air Force has inducted four new Heron Mark-2 drones, which have strike capability and can carry out surveillance along the borders with both China and Pakistan in a single sortie.

Key Points:

  • Long-Distance Operations and Multiple Missions: The drones showcase an impressive operational range, allowing them to fly for nearly 36 hours continuously. This capability enables the execution of multiple missions in a single flight, addressing various sectors efficiently.
  • Continuous 24x7 Surveillance: The drone's advanced capabilities enable it to provide round-the-clock surveillance of designated targets, enhancing situational awareness and monitoring capabilities.
  • Surveillance Command: The squadron operating the Heron Mark2drones is known as the ‘Warden of the North’ and has been carrying out surveillance missions along the borders with both China and Pakistan.
  • Standoff Capability and Enhanced Sensor Range: A notable feature of the Heron Mark-2 is its Standoff Capability, which enables it to gather vital intelligence from considerable distances without crossing borders.
  • Increased Operational Ceilings and Modern Avionics: The integration of modern avionics and engines has led to a significant boost in the operational ceilings of the drone.
  • It can achieve altitudes of up to 35,000 feet and speeds of 150 knots, contributing to enhanced performance.
  • Laser Illumination for Targeting: The Heron Mark 2 possesses the unique ability to laser illuminate enemy targets from extensive ranges.
  • This capability assists fighter aircraft in effectively engaging and destroying targets using their long-range weapons.
  • Versatility in Harsh Conditions: The drone's payloads and onboard avionics are designed to operate seamlessly in sub-zero temperatures and adverse weather conditions, ensuring reliable performance in various environments.
  • Air-to-Ground Missiles and Anti-Tank Weapons: As part of the ongoing developments, the drones can be equipped with air-to-ground missiles, air-to-ground anti-tank weapons, and bombs.