US President administration approved the sale of armed drones to India | Doonited.India

December 12, 2019

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US President administration approved the sale of armed drones to India

US President administration approved the sale of armed drones to India
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India is close to inking a defence deal with the US for the procurement of Sea Guardian armed drones and P-8I anti-submarine warfare and surveillance aircraft. The deal is valued at over $7 billion. “Indian Navy, Air Force, and Army are coordinating their requirements and specifications for the acquisition of these Sea Guardian armed drones from the US under the FMS route,” Defence sources. They said since some of the capability requirements of the three services would be different from each other, their collation would take a few months and a Letter of Request (LoR) is expected to be issued to the American government for the government-to-government deal by February-March next year.

US President Donald Trump’s administration had approved the sale of armed drones to India in June this year and offered it to be equipped with required missiles and other systems. Earlier, among the three services, only the Navy seemed to be interested in the procurement but now all the three services are showing interest in the project, the sources said.

The project is expected to cost over USD 4.5 billion to the defence services. Once the Letter of Request (similar to a Request for Proposal) is issued to the American government for the deal under its Foreign Military Sales route, the American side would send the Letter of Acceptance (LoA), in which terms and conditions for the deal will be specified.

The other major deal in the pipeline is the project for the acquisition of the 10 P-8I anti-submarine warfare and long-range surveillance aircraft which would be adding to the existing fleet of 12 such planes in the Indian Navy. Sources said the project was supposed to be fielded before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in its last meeting but was withheld due to some reasons. “Now the proposal is expected to be put up before the DAC again in the next meeting,” the sources informed.

In the last decade, India has inducted a large number of American defence hardware including Apache attack choppers, Chinook heavy-lift Helicopters, C-17 Globemaster and C-130J Super Hercules Transport aircraft, M-777 ultra-light howitzers and AN-TPQ weapon locating radars.

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