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India is in advanced talks to procure MQ-9B drones from the USA

India is in an advantaged stage of procuring an MQ-9B drone which is a variant of the MQ-9 Reaper. India plans to procure 30 MQ-9B armed predator drones for $3 billion USD. Moreover, India wants to strengthen the surveillance at the Line Of Control with China in the Indian Ocean. People were not surprised by the development as said on Sunday.


The long-endurance hunter-killer drones are being procured for three services as they can carry a variety of roles like anti-submarine warfare, maritime surveillance, over-the-air targeting and hitting stationary objects.


The MQ-9B drone is a variant of the MQ-9 “Reaper” that was used to launch a fire on the Hellfire Mission that eliminated al-Qeada leader Ayman-al-Zawahiri last month in the heart of Kabul.


Authoritative sources in the defence department are in talks between the USA and New Delhi. Government-to-government procurement of drones is not off the table. The drones are manufactured by US defence major General Atomics.


Dr Vivek Lall, the chief executive for General Atomics Global Corporation said that procurement of the surveillance drones is in an advanced stage of discussion between the USA, Washington and India.


Lall added that from a company perspective, General Atomics is ready to support India and values our longtime relationship," 


The procurement plan between foreign and defence ministries between India and Washington, USA started in April.


In 2020, the Indian Navy had taken on lease two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones from General Atomics for surveillance in the Indian Ocean. The lease period has ended and the Indian government now wants to procure 30 MQ-9B drones from the U.S.A.


The Indian Navy wants to strengthen surveillance in the Indian Ocean to stop the attacks by the Chinese PLA Warships in the Indian Ocean Region.


When asked about the two drones Lall added that they performed well as they flew 3000 hours of service in the Indian Navy’s land border petrol and maritime objectives.

Defence experts have been impressed by the MQ-9's over-the-horizon ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) support for surface units and Indian warships as well as its endurance and availability of operation.


According to General Motors, the MQ-9B is designed to meet not only the standards set by NATO but also are also equipped with the civil airspace requirement all over the world. According to the procurement proposal, the three services would like to procure 10 drones each. The remotely piloted drones are capable of remaining in the air for about 35 hours.


The medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drone is the first hunter-killer unmanned aerial vehicle designed for long endurance and high altitude surveillance.


Indian Armed Forces have been interested in procuring unmanned drones for surveillance in the area of the eastern Ladakh attack of China.


In 2019 the USA approved the sale of armed surveillance drones to India and even offered an air and missile integrated defense system. The Indian Navy has long been interested in procuring armed drones for the surveillance of the Indian Ocean after the attack by Chinese ships and submarines in the last few years.


Edited By:Shanawaz Choudry

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