US nod to export Predator to India

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Yusuf, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    In a development that will reinforce India-US relations and herald a strategic partnership, Washington is understood to have given clearance for export of ‘Predator XP’ version unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to India.
    Manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, ‘Predator XP’ UAV could be possibly used for multiple purposes, including patrolling of the Pakistan and China borders touching India and reconnaissance of red terror areas. The home ministry is also keen on acquiring this sophisticated technology.
    Highly placed sources told FE that the licence to export to India was cleared by the US administration in October 2014 itself, much before the visit of US President Barack Obama. The permission to allow exports to India of advanced US military UAVs which fall under the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Category I export control restrictions has been termed as significant and a big step towards forging a strategic partnership between the two nations.
    Though the sources refrained from sharing pricing details of the UAV, it is estimated that a 10-vehicle Predator system, with ground stations and software, would cost around $400 million. A single Predator vehicle would cost between $4 million and $15 million depending on surveillance equipment and weapons.
    In fact, General Atomics is seen as the pioneer of this sophisticated but deadly drone technology and could be indicative of a larger role the company wants to play in India and the Asia Pacific region. The company, which made its India debut in the defence expo held last year for the first time, is expected to participate at Aero-India 2015 to be held in Bangalore from February 18.
    The Obama administration has been making efforts to relax strictures on selling less-sensitive military hardware to foreign countries, and in an effort to avoid losing a share in the rapidly expanding foreign unmanned aerial vehicle market. However, there is a growing trend where US companies are being proactive and trying to develop export versions of UAVs that are saleable. General Atomics did just that with its Predator XP, an unarmed version of the medium-altitude, long-endurance UAV flown by the US military.
    There are already 4,000 different unmanned aircraft platforms in circulation in the global market, most built by US manufacturers, according to an IHS Industry Research and Analysis report.
    Because of the extended range and carrying capacity of high-end UAVs like Global Hawks and Predators, they fall under a stringent set of controls that govern the international sale of cruise missiles. The MTCR requires exporters of systems that can fly farther than 300 km and carry more than 500 kg be licensed by both the state and commerce departments.
    The Predator model on offer to countries including India is a stripped down version of MQ-1 armed drones the US military uses in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as in Iraq. But they are without the capability to carry missiles.

    http://bit.ly/1zyI6Wt
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Can we use these at the time of war?

    What does "permission" mean? Did the US Congress pass a law allowing this sale?
     
  4. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Do not believe too much in these reports. What India asked for was the naval version of the UAV to patrol the vast expense of the Indian ocean. These type of UAVs for Indian need is already here from Israel and locally produced.
     
  5. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    I believe you are talking about Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton for IN. Sir Predator is class apart and we don't have currently anything like that in our inventory. Closest we have is IAI Harpy.
     
  6. DingDong

    DingDong Senior Member Senior Member

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    The More we import more inclined we are in general to not invest in R&D. We must learn from the US and Israel, countries which replace any foreign maal with their own as soon as they can even if the home-made product is slightly inferior in quality.

    What kind of "Make in India" Program is this? If these foreign companies don't come here with ToT and if critical parts aren't manufactured in India then we must kiss goodbye to the dream of establishing a domestic defence industry.
     
  7. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    seems like a good deal for Home ministry. use against the Terrorists in North East provenance. and can be used for Control the infiltration along the LoC
     
  8. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    MQ 4 Triton is used for Maritime Surveillance which can fly continuously 24 hours
    IAI Harpy is an Target Drone or a Suicide Drone which can target the Enemy Radars site to pave way for the Strike Fighters
    MQ 1 is the UCAV which can be fitted with 6 Brimstone/4 Hellfire/6 PGM's/6 Griffin ranging some 1000 kilometers

    other Indian Drones like Rustom 2 is still in making can match the MQ 1
    IAI Heron is the fully surveillance drone
     
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    I don't see why we don't stick to Israel. At least they won't pull off shenanigans and have a history of being a reliable supplier, not to mention, their products being of good quality.
     
  10. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    WTFlying Duck...Limited use.. :puke:
    We can gain some expert in using this sophisticated machinery and upgrade our tech learning the charateristics.

    Well!! so its mainly for survelliance! Should we not just stick with our own capabilities and products from Israel.
     
  11. Illusive

    Illusive Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pretty useless, its just for surveillance, stick to Indian made atleast in drones.
     
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  12. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Fine, I hope the duffers sitting in DRDO and NAL and HAL reverse engineer it and improve our own drones. That is the best possible use of these "stripped down" version of the drones.
     
  13. Hari Sud

    Hari Sud Senior Member Senior Member

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    Opinion on this thread is divided on the utility of these stripped down version of drones which US is offering to India. Suggestion is to stick with Indian built and imported from Israel.

    I wish to mention that the US exports are so strictly controlled that reverse engineering is not possible, lthough learning process my be useful.

    During war situation, there is a greater danger that US will blockade spare parts, which makes them only peace time weapons, hence stick with the local supply.
     
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  14. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Long walk Elite Member

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    If they providing the Scale downed Predator means we won't need that Recons. Just add more heat into the Rustom 2 Drone which would be armed with Ground Attack munitions
     
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  15. WMD

    WMD Regular Member

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    General Atomics MQ-1 Predator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Not sure why India is considering it, we already have IAI Heron and in a few years our very own Rustom-II(UCAV) will be operational.
     
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  16. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    This has come after we are about to test Rustom 2 MALE combat UAV.
    I wont be surprised if Uncle offer us US nuke subs(export version).
     
  17. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    US offer means we are on right track for Rustam 2......:thumb:
     
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  18. ezsasa

    ezsasa Senior Member Senior Member

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    My opinion on predator is that we should look it as a learning curve, extensive use of drones in the american military doctrine ensures that they would have ironed out all the usage issues.

    We do not know how practical RUSTOM 2 Is, like for example we know that predators are run by users sitting in US and Britain while the drone is flying over pakistan, how much do we know about R2 being flown in say naxal area by users sitting in Delhi, chennai or Mumbai?

    Even if we are taking a surveillance drone , we should go for it. Predator should give our forces first hand experience of what infrastructure is required to maintain a drone regiment.
     
  19. kaustav2001

    kaustav2001 Regular Member

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    Frankly we have no need for a stripped down version of the MQ-1 that too only for surveillance. The Indian Armed Forces have been operating UAVs for over a decade. We already have the Israeli searcher (Mark 1 & II), Heron & Harop (ucav) for that along with our very own Nishant & now Paanchi ( the wheeled Nishant version that was tested). If you've noticed the US itself has now been using the larger & more capable MQ-9 Reaper ucavs. So thanks but no thanks, what they're offering is something they themselves would consider obsolete in a few years time.
    We should instead be backing/ funding our own programs Rustom & the AURA & focus on making them operational asap.

    We should also be focusing on developing mission specific payloads for our UAVs & UCAVs - I suspect this is still one of our areas of improvement. UAVs like the MQ-9 & GLobal Hawk have a large range of modules (sensor suites) & data linking capability that can be used for all types of reconnaissance & targeting.

    ~ My 2 cents.
     
  20. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Is the "STRIPPED DOWN VERSION or limited use " a media release so as not to spike up our neighbor with consitpated look into a frenzy.?

    nobody knows what the EULA says!
     
  21. Prometheus

    Prometheus Regular Member

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    HAHA this is nothing more then an opportunity for Pakistan to bleed India dry.... the drone attacks in Pakistan happen with the consent of the Pakistani GOVT. (although publicly they deny this), the Predator drones are sitting ducks for the Pakistani air-force otherwise. Secondly, the Pakis pay their terrorists 5K that too in Pakistani rupees lol, considering the drone is priced at 15 million , each missile fired at the Paki terrorist will cost at least 10 lacks, Pakistan would never have had a better opportunity to bleed India dry with multiple cuts LOL
     

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