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India to get enhanced Heron UAVs

An additional 15 Heron unmanned air vehicles that Israel Aerospace Industries will supply to India are to be an upgraded version with improved payloads.

In late 2013, India’s Cabinet Committee on Security – headed by prime minister Manmohan Singh – approved a $250 million deal to purchase the additional UAVs and associated equipment from Israel, and to upgrade the nation's existing fleet for improved communications. The buy will increase the total number of Herons operated by India to 35.

Meanwhile, IAI late last year performed a series of test flights involving a Heron powered by a heavy fuel engine. If additional tests are successful, the company plans to offer the combination as an option to customers.

India's air force and navy both operate the long-endurance Heron, while the former also uses IAI's smaller Searcher 2 and its Harpy loitering weapon system.

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