Why 22 Guardian Drone Will be Game Changer For India Against China in Indian Ocean
India’s naval force will get a major boost with the inclusion of 22 Sea Guardian drones as the unmanned UAV will help to monitor Chinese activities in the Indian Ocean.
The Chinese are trying all the tricks up their sleeve to achieve dominance on LAC by intruding into Indian territory and keep the virtual border active. They employ similar tactics in the South China Sea. They flout all the international rules for establishing dominance in the sea. India has a 7500-km-long sea shore. Hence, the Guardians will be of real help to thwart the Chinese danger.
About Sea Guardian ::
Sea Guardian is an important reconnaissance tool for the United States and its allies. This unmanned aircraft can fly for 40 hours uninterrupted. US officer Vivek Lal, who is of Indian origins, told the NBT that the deal between the US and India will bolster relations between the two countries. The deal of sale will create 2000 new jobs in the United States.
The Sea Guardian is a variant of the tested MQ-9 platform which allows for greater interoperability with the US and allied forces.It can be used for wide-area, long- endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, it can stay in the air for up to 27 hours and can fly at maximum altitude of 50,000 feet.
The Indian Navy made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year. The Guardian has cutting edge technologies that do not exist in the current navy arsenal. This maritime capability will bolster the capabilities of the Indian Navy which has procured other advance technologies including Boeing P-8 aircraft recently.
Will create a balance of power in Indian Ocean ::
With the inclusion of Guardian Drones, India’s range to keep a watch in the Indian Ocean will increase manifolds. It will also help in creating a balance of power between India and China. This is one of the biggest deals between India and the United States. This is the first time that the US has given drones to any non-NATO country.
With China focused on South China Sea, Lall hopes that India has an opportunity to help create and lead a regional balance of power to protect its interests in the Indian Ocean region by building maritime engagements with regional and extra-regional partners.
According to Lall, use of the Sea Guardian drones by the Indian Navy will also develop India’s credible capabilities, which is significant for Indian maritime security and naval power projection.
“Additionally, India faces a several complex security challenges in this domain such as piracy, terrorism, environmental degradation and narcotics trafficking. Maritime domain awareness would allow the Indian Navy an advantage in patrolling the Indian Ocean, and in tackling its pressing security challenges to achieve grander Indian strategic objectives,” he said.
This summer, India received 10 advanced Heron drones from Israel for $400 million, making Israel a weapons supplier competitor to the United States.
The US had cleared the sale of 22 predator Guardian drones to India in June, a deal being termed as a “game changer”.
The deal is estimated to be worth USD two to three billion.
According to General Atomics, the manufacturer, the Predator Guardian UAV, a variant of the Predator B, can be used for wide-area, long- endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet. The Indian Navy made the request for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform last year.