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World

China sells 50 armed drones to Pakistan, raising concerns in Indian Army

  • Beijing has decided to supply 50 Wing Loong II armed drones to Pakistan, which would pose a unique challenge for adversarial forces across the border.
  • These armed drones have been touted as extremely effective, especially in high-altitude areas.
Updated 30 Dec 2020
Source: Reuters.
Source: Reuters.

As reported by Chinese state media, Beijing has decided to supply 50 Wing Loong II armed drones to Pakistan, which would pose a unique challenge for adversarial forces across the Line of Control.

These armed drones have been touted as extremely effective, especially in high-altitude areas, as the Indian military lacks the capability to respond to new-age weaponry.

Chinese state media outlets argued that armed drones played a crucial role in the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Azerbaijan; adding that Indian forces would be unable to parry an attack against this aerial threat.

However, Indian military officials have pointed out that armed drones are most effective aerial spaces where it has dominance, and which remain uncontested - a key example of which is in Afghanistan or Iraq, where the United States routinely carries out strikes against insurgents.

In the case of the India-Pakistan border, this might not be the case, as according to a former Indian Air Force Chief "Whether it is Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir or the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, the airspace is very closely monitored by radars and hotly contested with fighters. The armed drones will simply be shot down if they cross the lines".

The cost of the Chinese Wing Loong II drone is one-tenth of that of a fighter jet, and while the Indian Army is capable of simply detecting and shooting down the drone; in the absence of a properly integrated air defense system in place, a coordinated drone strike can be very costly.