|Sea Guardian/ Sky Guardian drone. Credit : General atomics aeronautical|
The Sea guardian or sometimes known as Sky guardian is an upgraded version of MQ-9B Predator drone with better sensor/weapon systems, longer endurance and lifetime. Sea guardian is a medium-altitude long endurance Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) drone. It has a wing span of 24 meter, length of 11 meter. The Sea guardian drone uses a Honeywell TPE331-10 Turboprop engine that can provide a top speed of 210 KTOS (Knots true air speed) or 390 kmph. It has a service ceiling of 40000 feet and has a maximum endurance of 40 hours. It uses Raytheon MTS-B EO(Electro-optical)/IR(Infra red) sensor and GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar with both X-band and Ku/Ka-band capability. Indian armed forces are planning to acquire such drones to boost its UAV capabilities. Indian Navy has leased two such drones for one year. There are chances of induction of more such drones in near future.
The sea guardian drones can be used for both Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) mission. It is a ship and submarine hunter-killer drone. Its main feature includes :
Indian Navy is using an un-armed variant of this drone; but in coming years, India may go for armed variant of this drone too for all the three services of its armed forces.