The deal for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) 31 MQ- 9B with the United States is on the road to finalization. Leaders of the two countries hope to conclude it by February 2024. The deliveries for the same are expected to commence in February 2027.
“The deal is on track and the letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) from the US is now awaited. The contract is expected to be concluded by February 2024." as per Defence sources.
General Atomics (GA) situated in San Diego, California is known for developing innovative nuclear and alternative energy solutions to meet the needs of the world specializing in research and technology development.
As per the defence sources, GA will establish a global Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility in India. Sources stated its alleged establishment in Bengaluru but it is not finalized yet.
The procurement of 31 MQ-9B UAVs from GA, 15 Sea Guardians for the Indian Navy, and 8 Sky Guardians both for the Indian Army and Air Force is underway.
The expected cost of the deal is stated to be $3,072 million through the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route.
MQ-9 B Sea Guardians are medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones that can be employed in armed patrol roles. Sea Guardians are known to help India enhance its strategic interests and technological development.
A letter of Request along these lines was sent to the US Government post the G-20 summit.
From the Indian side, the Cabinet Committee on Security will approve the deal, the US Congress has to be intimated from the US administration before the deal concludes.
LOA from the US administration is awaited.
The deal focuses on the technology transfer for India from 8-9 % to a substantial 20 %. Assemblance of MQ-9B UAVs in India, realizing the dream of Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
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