The procurement of 30 armed Predator/MQ9B drones from General Atomics and the F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet of the US-based Boeing Company for the Indian Navy are on the table for discussion at the next India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
“The two sides will discuss the prospect of the Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers receiving the F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet.” The long-awaited MQ9B drones are likewise at the top of the priority list.”
More than 150 simulation studies and ski-jump tests have been successfully completed to demonstrate that the American F/A-18 can operate from the INS Vikramaditya and the indigenous IAC-1.
The IAC-1, which will be commissioned into the Eastern Naval Command as INS Vikrant by August this year, is meant to handle MiG-29Ks, although the US aerospace manufacturer has done tests on the Super Hornet’s overall compatibility with both carriers.
Ankur Kanaglekar, Boeing Defense, Space and Security’s Head of India Fighters Sales, previously indicated that the F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet can operate efficiently from Indian Navy aircraft carriers and will be a key enabler for a safe and secure Indo-Pacific.