Indian Navy Updates

MQ-9B Sea Guardian Unarmed Drone


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : MQ-9B, BECA

Mains level : India-US defense cooperation

The Indian Navy has inducted two MQ-9B Sea Guardian unarmed drones procured from the U.S. on lease.

Try this question from CSP 2018:

Q.What is “Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)”, sometimes seen in the news?

(a) An Israeli radar system

(b) India’s indigenous anti-missile programme

(c) An American anti-missile system

(d) A defence collaboration between Japan and South Korea

MQ-9B Sea Guardian

  • The Guardian, which is the maritime variant of the Predator MQ-9 UAV, has a maximum endurance of 40 hours and a maximum flying altitude of 40,000 feet.
  • It has 360-degree maritime surveillance radar and optional multimode maritime surface search radar.
  • The drone can perform over-the-horizon long-endurance, medium-altitude Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
  • The recently released Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) 2020 has introduced an option for leasing military platforms.
  • The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial Cooperation (BECA) has simplified such high- technology cooperation.

About BECA

  • BECA will help India get real-time access to American geospatial intelligence that will enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
  • Through the sharing of information on maps and satellite images, it will help India access topographical and aeronautical data, and advanced products that will aid in navigation and targeting.
  • This could be a key to Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation between India and the US.
  • BECA will provide Indian military systems with a high-quality GPS to navigate missiles with real-time intelligence to precisely target the adversary.
  • Besides the sailing of ships, flying off aircraft, fighting of wars, and location of targets, geospatial intelligence is also critical to the response to natural disasters.

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