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India Set To Purchase An Indo-Israeli Long-range UAV To Support Its “Make In India” Initiative

Story Highlights
  • According to the original plans, India was planning to equitably distribute among the three services 30 American Predator high-altitude, long-endurance drones with missile strike capability.
  • The defence ministry, working with the Israeli defence industry, nevertheless carried out the initiative in accordance with the government's instructions about import programmes.

A significant political development is the Center’s current consideration of purchasing a domestically produced, long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with launch capability that is being created by a private Indian company in collaboration with an Israeli defence manufacturer.

This comes after the Indian government recently decided to support the “Make in India” campaign by delaying the purchase of American predator drones. The programme was introduced in 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a component of a bigger set of nation-building initiatives.

The American predator drone agreement, which has been put on hold because it would cost about USD 4.5 billion (more than Rs 35,000 crore) for 30 predator drones, was ordered to be evaluated by a panel headed by a Lieutenant General.

According to top government officials quoted by ANI, “With the contract not moving forward and practically all import cases being put on hold, we are now exploring an armed UAV manufactured by an Indian private defence firm along with an Israeli defence manufacturer.” They claim that the project’s involvement by the Indian corporation conforms with the “Make in India” requirements set forth by the government in order for the items to be taken into consideration by the armed services.

Defence ministry halted imports to prioritise domestically produced weapons

According to the original plans, India was planning to equitably distribute among the three services 30 American Predator high-altitude, long-endurance drones with missile strike capability. These armed drones, which may be used for surveillance and standoff attacks against opponents, are reportedly needed by the armed services. To prioritise domestically produced weapons, the Defense Ministry has suspended almost all defence deals involving imports.

India has 12 American anti-submarine warfare & surveillance planes to monitor IOR

It is important to note that the Indian Navy uses two predator drones, which were leased to India by an American corporation, to keep an eye on activity in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). India has 12 American P-8I anti-submarine warfare and observation planes for keeping an eye on the area, and it was in the process of procuring six additional comparable aircraft.

The defence ministry, working with the Israeli defence industry, nevertheless carried out the initiative in accordance with the government’s instructions about import programmes.

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