Thursday, January 20, 2011

Indian Navy's UAVs to keep an eye on intrusion

Porbander: Surveillance along the western coastline has been beefed up with the commissioning of a squadron of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at the Naval base in Porbander.
The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, called the Heron, will now keep an eye on intrusions along the western coast, which was used by the 26/11 attackers to enter Mumbai.
Its operations will entirely be controlled from a remote location and will send back pictures and videos of any suspicious movement in the sea. The Heron is equipped to locate even submarines, warships and aircraft, and can remain in the sky for up to 12 hours at a stretch.
"It doesn't have a pilot who can get tired. So it has a lot of endurance. It can fly far or survey from near. It has the potential to carry equipment such as a camera, a communication interceptor and video transmitter. These UAVs will prove to be a big boost for surveillance. They are equipped with most advanced systems and can fly for long hours," says Western Naval Command spokesperson Captain Manohar Nambiar.
Accompanying the Heron is the third generation Searcher MK2 which has also been commissioned.

Smaller in size than the Heron, the Searcher is also equipped with electro-optical camera and electronic support systems.
With two Heron's and two Searcher MK2 craft, the Navy will now be better equipped to handle intrusions from the sea. Navy officials say that very soon, a new version of UAVs armed with artillery will also be introduced along the western coastline.
"We will continue to upgrade these UAVs. A constant research programme is also on and definitely we will add more vehicles here," says Indian Navy's Vice Admiral Sanjiv Bhasin.
With the new UAV squadron in place, the western coastline can be secured much better.
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