The procurement of 30 Predator armed drones by India is now in advanced stages of talks with the US. Multiple sources have revealed that the sale of US drones to India, the first to a non-NATO partner, is nearing completion. The transaction is expected to cost $3 billion. If the agreement is implemented, it will provide a significant boost to India’s sophisticated defence capabilities.
The massive defence contract was initially revealed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House in 2017 during the Trump administration. Following the visit, the two governments escalated their talks, resulting in a 30 percent increase in the number of such drones included in the pact from 10 before.
The number of drones has been increased to ten for the Navy, Air Force, and Army, respectively.
According to official sources, the Indian and US governments are nearing completion on a 30-plane Predator/MQ9B procurement programme. “It’s a capability that puts India’s Major Defense Partner status into action, which has been in the works for years thanks to multiple fundamental agreements and India’s MTCR membership. India will be the first non-NATO country to gain this capacity, according to the Pentagon “PTI obtained information from sources.
Meanwhile, the sources denied any knowledge of India’s decision to put the transaction on hold. The next stage in the process, they added, is for them to receive a letter of request. They repeated that the agreement had been in the works for six years.
10 MQ-9B long-range drones will be delivered to each of the three forces.
General Atomics’ state-of-the-art drones are currently unrivalled in the defence market. Once approved, each of the three defence services will acquire ten drones for surveillance and strike missions as needed. The Indian Navy has been flying these drones in the Indian Ocean, and their endurance of over 30 hours allows them to boost the force’s domain awareness in a zone where Chinese Navy vessels are present.
The Indian Navy has been flying these drones in the Indian Ocean Zone, and their 30-hour endurance helps them to boost the force’s domain awareness in a region where Chinese Navy warships and submarines, as well as commerce ships, frequently pass through.
India will also receive drones from Israel, which will help them gain coverage in high-altitude places and will be equipped with cutting-edge surveillance equipment. India has been on the search for drones that can provide coverage at high altitudes and are equipped with the most up-to-date surveillance technology.