HomeLatest NewsIndia gets 31 predators drones from US, becoming the first non-NATO country to do so

India gets 31 predators drones from US, becoming the first non-NATO country to do so

US AI drone kills interfering operator in simulation; airforce denies incident

NEW DELHI: The United States has granted approval to sell 31 state-of-the-art MQ-9b remotely piloted aircraft Sky Guardian drones, equipped with indigenous missiles and laser-guided bombs, to India.

The cost of the 31 drones, along with the associated weapons and equipment, is estimated to be around four billion dollars. Following approval from the American Congress, India is set to become the first non-NATO country to acquire Predator drones armed with missiles in the next few months.

In a statement released by the Pentagon, it was mentioned that the Defense Security Cooperation Agency of the United States informed Congress about the potential sale after receiving the required approval.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed the purchase of these drones during his visit to Washington in June last year.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defense partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” the agency said.

“The proposed sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats by enabling unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance patrols in sea lanes of operation,” agency added.

The MQ-9B SkyGuardian drone, manufactured by the American company General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, is one of the latest drones in the market. According to its website, the MQ-9B SkyGuardian drone is capable of conducting covert operations, surveillance, and reconnaissance worldwide.

It can fly for more than 40 hours continuously in all weather conditions and day and night, using artificial intelligence. This drone has the ability to target and destroy objectives on land, sea, and in the air. It represents cutting-edge technology, providing diverse capabilities for various applications in government agencies.

India acquired two SkyGuardian drones from the United States in 2021. However, these are not the type of drones that can launch missiles and bombs. They are specifically surveillance and reconnaissance drones intended for India’s use.

Recently, after the attacks by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, the Indian Navy utilized these surveillance drones for monitoring. The use of these surveillance drones was also witnessed in Ladakh, near the India-China border, to keep tabs on the movements of Chinese military personnel.

The United States also used these drones for targeted killing and destruction of specific targets in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, etc. Recently, Israel has also employed them for the purpose of destroying targeted objectives.

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