Heron MK II a Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) leased from Israel Aerospace Industries for three years last year due to heightening tensions with China on the northern borders has been inducted as per the latest media reports. Two have been inducted in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh and Two more will be inducted in Leh by end of September.

Heron MK II is a strategic and versatile aircraft capable of carrying diverse payloads. Fitted with a Rotax 915 iS engine, the Heron MK II can reach an altitude of over 10,000 meters, a maximum speed of 140 knots, and can remain in the air for 45 consecutive hours.

India already operates 60+ Heron MK I and the addition of the MK II With larger and improved sensors will come as a boost to the standoff capability, and intelligence gathering for the armed forces in the northern sector.

Heron MK II has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,350 kg with a payload of 470 kg and can hit a maximum speed of 140 knots compared to the 120 knots of the Heron MK I with an endurance of 45 hours compared to 24 hours of Mk I.

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