The US State Department recently notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale of 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft or drones to India….reports Asian Lite News
The US has said MQ-9B drones will provide India with enhanced maritime security and maritime domain awareness capability.
“The sale of MQ-9B drones to India will provide the country with enhanced maritime security and maritime domain awareness capability. It offers India outright ownership of these aircraft, and this is something that we’ll continue to deepen our cooperation with our Indian partners on,” US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said during a press briefing on Monday.
The US State Department recently notified Congress of a possible foreign military sale of 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft or drones to India.
The US State Department and the manufacturer of the drones, General Atomics (GA), informed India, including the country’s top national security leadership, of the progress on the sale.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency in a statement said: “The State Department has made a determination approving a possible foreign military sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of USD 3.99 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.”
India’s deal with the US of almost USD 4 billion, paving the way for the acquisition of 31 state-of-the-art MQ-9B Sky Guardian drones, will not only propel India’s defence capabilities but also ensure a 16-fold increase in the number of aircraft, significantly enhancing New Delhi’s maritime security beyond the current lease agreement.
The drone deal is part of the broader efforts to strengthen defence ties between the United States and India.
In June 2023, US President Joe Biden and PM Modi welcomed India’s plans to procure Predator drones made by General Atomics, a mega pact that will allow American Navy ships to undertake major repairs at Indian shipyards.
President Biden and PM Modi welcomed India’s plans to procure General Atomics MQ-9B HALE UAVs. The MQ-9Bs, assembled in India, will enhance the ISR capabilities of India’s armed forces across domains. As part of this plan, General Atomics will also establish a comprehensive global MRO facility in India, according to the US-India joint statement. (ANI)