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Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Heron TP medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), leased to the Indian Army (IA), were recently tracked flying over the Kashmir region on websites like Flightradar24.

These Heron TPs were previously reported to be leased from the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 2020 for potential deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) bordering China in the Himalayas. The lease aimed to bolster India’s surveillance capabilities amidst ongoing border tensions.

There are conflicting reports regarding the number of Heron TPs leased by the Indian Army. Some sources suggest four units, while others claim only two. This discrepancy might be due to the IAF’s recent decision to directly purchase the more advanced Heron MkII variant instead of leasing additional Heron TPs.

The spotted UAV bore the registration number ‘4X-UMI’. This particular model first flew in 2013 and might have served as a testbed before being leased to India.

The Heron TP boasts impressive features, including:

  • Long flight endurance (up to 52 hours)
  • High payload capacity (over 1000 kg)
  • Advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities

These features make the Heron TP a valuable asset for border patrol and intelligence gathering missions.