MQ-9B DRONES (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Security)

News-CRUX-10     12th September 2023        
output themes

Context: India recently initiated the process to purchase 31 MQ-9B drones from the USA.

MQ-9B drones

  • Developed by: General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI).
  • The MQ-9B drone is a variant of the MQ-9 “Reaper”.
  • MQ-9 Reaper: An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations.
  • They are armed with strike missiles that can take out enemy targets with high accuracy.
  • The MQ-9B has two variants: Sky Guardian and Sea Guardian.

o The Indian Navy has been operating the MQ-9B Sea Guardian since 2020.

Features of MQ-9B Sea Guardian 

  • Payload: It can carry up to 5,670 kg.
  • Altitude: 40,000 feet.
  • Endurance time: 40 hours.
  • This makes it useful for long-hour surveillance.
  • It can support land, maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike, electronic warfare, and expeditionary roles.
  • It is capable of automatic take-offs and landings.
  • This enables joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the maritime domain — day or night.