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Saturday, July 20, 2024

The US Congress approves the sale of Predator drones to India

The US State Department has conveyed to General Atomics, the manufacturer of Predator Drones, that the ‘tiered review’ for the proposed sale of 31 MQ9B drones to India has been approved by the US Congress. Official notification to Congress is expected within the next 24 hours. General Atomics has shared this information with the top echelons of the Modi government, including the national security establishment.

While the Modi government remains tight-lipped about the deal, sources in Washington have confirmed that the official notification for the sale of 31 MQ9B Predator armed drones to India will be released later in the day. The allocation includes 15 drones for the Indian Navy, with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force each receiving eight high altitude long endurance drones from the US.

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US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller emphasized the significant growth in the US-India Defence Partnership over the past decade, highlighting the potential for advancing strategic technology cooperation and military collaboration in the region. Miller stated that Congress plays a crucial role in the US arms transfer process, and consultations with members of the Foreign Affairs Committees precede formal notifications to address any queries.

Simultaneously, the GE-414 engine deal with the US is progressing smoothly, with the CEO of the company informing the highest levels of the Modi government. Both the drone and aircraft engine deals are being managed by the national security advisors of India and the US.

The Indian Navy currently operates two unarmed Predator drones leased from the US at the Rajali air base in Tamil Nadu. These drones have significantly enhanced Indian maritime domain awareness, especially in dealing with challenges like Houthi missiles and Somali Pirates in the Red Sea.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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