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India to buy Predator drones, aiming for ‘game-changing’ deal ahead of PM Modi’s US visit

The drones – the MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones – are produced by General Atomics, an American energy and defense company

The Defense Acquisition Board (DAC), headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday approved the acquisition of American-made Predator drones. The game-changing deal has received Indian government approval ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States next week.

The acceptance of necessity (AON) came from the DAC, which means that the international agreement can now be negotiated. Details of the deal are expected to be announced during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States on June 22.

“The deal for the Predator drones was approved by the Defense Acquisition Board meeting today. The acquisition proposal will now have to go through a process after which it will have to be approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security “said the news agency. ANI cited defense sources.

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According to a report by HAVEUnder the proposed deal, India will acquire 31 high-altitude, long-endurance Predator drones equipped with strike capabilities, including US missiles. They will be evenly distributed between the three services: 8 for the Indian Army, 8 for the Indian Air Force, and potentially 15 for the Indian Navy.

These drones are intended for surveillance along border areas.

Predator drones have been a longstanding request from the armed forces but it has been put on the back burner in order to boost the “Make In India” program.

THE HAVE the report says the deal would be for 32,000 crore. There is a possibility of MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) with the agreement, which means that the creditor manufacturers will set up a rare facility in India.

According to initial plans, the agreement involved the acquisition of 30 American Predator drones which were to be divided equally between the three services.

The drones – the MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones – are produced by General Atomics, an American energy and defense company. The high-altitude, long-endurance drones are armed with precision strike missiles that are said to be able to target enemy assets with high precision.

Currently, India is operating two predator drones which have been leased from an American company and they have been helping the navy to track activities in the Indian Ocean region.

With contributions from agencies

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