Breaking: India’s Game-Changing Move! Unveils Bold Plan to Acquire 31 Cutting-Edge Drones from the US – You Won’t Believe What They Can Do!

Prior to the scheduled Modi-Biden meeting on Friday, India has formally submitted a request to the US government for the acquisition of at least 31 advanced Predator-B drones, also known as MQ-9B Reapers. These drones are equipped with advanced defense technology, including weaponization, and the contract is intended to be finalized during the current fiscal year.

Recently, the Ministry of Defence dispatched a detailed Letter of Request (LoR) for these 31 remotely-piloted “hunter-killer” aircraft systems, along with their associated weaponry, mobile ground control systems, and related equipment. Reliable sources have reported that this request was made to the United States a few days ago, as reported by TOI on Thursday.

In response, the Biden administration is expected to issue a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LoA) to the US Congress through its foreign military sales (FMS) program, which will include cost details and the necessary notifications. This response is anticipated within the next one to two months, according to the same sources.

Negotiations between the two countries will determine the final price for the acquisition of these 31 drones, comprising 15 Sea Guardians for the Navy and 16 Sky Guardians for the Army and Indian Air Force. It’s important to note that the initial estimate from the defense ministry on June 15 placed the cost of the transaction at approximately $3.1 billion, as previously reported by TOI.

According to the TOI source, the objective is to secure an official contract for these high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) drones within the current fiscal year, or at the very least, within this calendar year, subject to approval from the cabinet committee on security. The armed forces are eager to expedite the induction of all these drones, which will be assembled in India by the manufacturer General Atomics (GA) over the next six to seven years.

When compared to China’s armed drones, the MQ-9Bs offer significantly greater capabilities. China has been supplying Pakistan with Cai Hong-4 and Wing Loong-II drones. The inclusion of MQ-9Bs will enhance India’s long-range surveillance and precision strike capabilities, both in the Indian Ocean Region and along the land borders with China and Pakistan.

The LoR outlines the specific requirements of the three services for the drones and their payloads, including equipping naval drones with maritime patrol radars.

As part of the agreement, General Atomics will establish a cost-effective and comprehensive worldwide maintenance and repair center in India, in addition to sourcing specific components from Indian manufacturers.

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