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SOURCE: ANI

In a significant boost to its surveillance capabilities along the Pakistan border, the Indian Army is set to receive the first Hermes-900 Starliner drone on June 18.

The Hermes-900 known as the Drishti-10 drone is being supplied to Indian forces including Indian Army and Navy by Adani Defence Systems. “The first of the two drones to be acquired by the Indian Army would be handed over to the force on June 18 in Hyderabad. The supplies are part of the deal signed under the emergency powers given to forces by the Defence Ministry,” defence officials told ANI.

The Indian Army will deploy the drones at its Bhatinda base from where it can keep an eye on the entire western border with Pakistan, they said.

The first Hermes-900 was delivered to the Indian Navy in January this year. The second drone is being taken by the Army.

Moreover, the third one would now be supplied to the Navy and the fourth one would go to the Army, they said.

The Indian Army has placed orders for two of these drones from the firm under emergency provisions that mandate that the systems supplied by vendors should be more than 60 per cent indigenous and should be under the ‘Make in India’ in Defence.

The Indian Army is already operating the Heron Mark 1 and Mark 2 drones and has also placed orders for the Drishti-10 or the Hermes-900 drones under the last tranche of the emergency procurements approved by the government for the forces.

Adani Defence had signed a deal with the Israeli firm Elbit for the transfer of technology for the drones and stated that it has indigenized 70 per cent of the birds and will work to increase it further.

The Indian Army has also inducted more satellite communication-enabled birds from Israel, as it has a few Heron Mark 2 birds in direct deals with Israeli Aircraft Industries.

The Indian Navy is going to position them in Porbandar to keep an eye on the maritime boundary with Pakistan as well as the high seas, as the BiRa have the capability to fly for over 30 hours and cover a distance of around 2,000 km in one go.