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An Indian Air Force (IAF) remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) went down near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan during a routine training mission today. Thankfully, there were no reports of casualties or damage to property on the ground.

The IAF confirmed the incident in a statement but did not disclose the specific type of RPA involved. However, reports from independent defense observers at, citing debris from the crash site, suggest it could be an Israeli-made Heron drone.

The Heron has a concerning safety record, experiencing a consistent “one loss per year” pattern since 2013. Notably, India’s Heron fleet, acquired in 2000 following the Kargil Review Committee’s recommendations, has also faced a string of crashes within the country, mirroring the global trend. These crashes have also followed a “one loss” per year pattern.

Heron drones are crucial for the Indian armed forces, serving the Air Force, Army, and Navy. Publicly available information suggests each UAV costs approximately Rs 80 crore.

A Court of Inquiry has been established by the IAF to determine the cause of today’s accident.