India In Talks To Buy US Predator Drones

Dessert Storm

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It's a shame that we are about to pay 3 billion dollars for 30 drones . I don't support it but then reality is we don't have any experience with combat drones and thus we don't have any established SOP for long range combat drones.

So it can be argued we are paying 3 billion dollars for the same ie training ,operating and tactics know how which will be provided , which will help us to establish and build one the current nil operational capabilities at par with NATO standards. Plus DRDO will get its hands on the UAVs , it's documentation and manuals etc which will help them to realise the operational parameters as well as the technologies needed to develop own combat UAV in the same class.
I would support it for the following reasons:
1. Interoperability with our own American origin platforms and Quad assets in IOR.
2. Would rather have a surveillance drone shot down as compared to a fighter jet on recon sortie. Even though the fighter may be cheaper and pilot safe, shooting a drone dosen't ring 'that' sort of bell.
3. As mentioned by you... tactics etc.
4. Again as mentioned by you regarding DRDO. Experiencing the tech first hand opens up the thought envelope.
5. Would be extremely helpful in surveilling Malacca. Navy infact wanted it the most.
6. It's the armed version so hey.....
7. General Atomics might give inputs on Indian UCAVs/UAVs as part of the deal.
 

The Maverick

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We are only buying 6 in a emergency purchase which will cost about $600-million

The remaing order for 24 is a commitment to buy IF he indian military feel the drones enhance our combat capabillity worthy of spending $2,5 billion OR we opt for indengious or cheaper Israeli models in small numbers

I DONT SEE INDIA PAYING or HAVING $3 BiLLION SPARE for drones in one go.
 

Dessert Storm

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WolfPack86

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Proposed procurement of Predator drones from US under process: Navy Chief Admiral Kumar
New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) The case for the proposed procurement of a fleet of Predator drones from the US is under process, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar said on Saturday.

The original proposal was to procure 30 MQ-9B Predator armed drones at a cost of over USD 3 billion to crank up India’s surveillance apparatus along the frontier with China as well as in the Indian Ocean region.

“The case for the procurement is under process. We are discussing whether the numbers have to be rationalised,” the Navy Chief said while replying to a question at his annual press conference.

The MQ-9B drone is a variant of the MQ-9 “Reaper” which was used to launch a modified version of the Hellfire missile that eliminated al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the heart of Kabul last month.

In 2020, the Indian Navy had taken on lease two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones from General Atomics for a period of one year for surveillance in the Indian Ocean. The lease period has been extended subsequently.

“We have gained good experiences while operating the leased drones,” Admiral Kumar said.

The Indian Navy has been bolstering its surveillance mechanism to monitor growing Chinese activities, including frequent forays by PLA warships in the Indian Ocean Region.

The procurement proposal for the armed drones has been moved by the Indian Navy and all three services are likely to get 10 drones each.

The drone is the first hunter-killer unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for long-endurance and high-altitude surveillance. The MQ-9B has signals intelligence and communications intelligence systems integrated onboard, but it can take any number of other custom sensors as necessary. PTI MPB NSD NSD
 

WolfPack86

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American MQ9B Combat Drones Set To Be Assembled In India

Tri-service procurement of world’s most advanced drones leveraged for transfer of niche technologies to DRDO, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar tells Vishal Thapar in an exclusive interview

India has negotiated for local assembly of the world’s most advanced High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) combat and reconnaissance drone, the American MQ9B Sea/Sky Guardian Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). These are more capable follow-ons of the iconic Predator.

“Through assertive negotiations, instant acquisition proposal has been leveraged for assembly of at least 60 % of the quantity of aircraft proposed for procurement in India,” Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R Hari Kumar told Businessworld in an exclusive interview.

A Tri-services case for the procurement of 30 MQ9B from the US under the Government-to-Government Foreign Military Sales (FMS) route is under process.

Initially estimated at $3 Billion, the deal will also involve “collaboration with DRDO for transfer of certain niche technology required for indigenous D&D of HALE RPAS in India,” Admiral Hari Kumar disclosed to Businessworld.

“Setting up of a Performance Based Depot Level Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Sea Guardian Global Sustainment Support (SGSS)” would be part of the programme, the Chief of the Indian Navy stated.

“These enabling agreements along with the procurement case would make India a Drone Hub as envisioned by Hon’ble PM,” Admiral Hari Kumar added.

Earlier, he had said that a discussion was underway amongst the three services on “whether the (procurement) numbers need to be rationalized”.

When it matures, the MQ9B deal will be one of the defining symbols of India-US military cooperation. It will also mark the first assembly of the iconic combat and surveillance drone outside of the US.

“The MQ-9B is designed to fly over the horizon via SATCOM for up to 40 hours in all types of weather and safely integrate into civil airspace, enabling joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the world—day or night,” it is stated by General Atomics, the manufacturer, which terms these as “the next generation of RPAS, delivering persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) around the globe”. It can fly at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet.

While ISR is its bread and butter, it is the combat capability, over-the-horizon targeting, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, defensive counter-air, airborne early warning and electronic warfare features which give it the edge.

The MQ9B features nine hardpoints with a maximum external payload capacity of 2155 kg. “This enables armed forces and governments to easily integrate sovereign payloads and mission systems for their own uniquely tailored solutions,” General Atomics states.

Admiral Hari Kumar recently acknowledged that the Indian Navy found the experience of taking two MQ9As on lease from the US of “great value”, expressing confidence that these RPAs would “provide great value to all three services”.

Recently, these leased drones completed 10,000 flight hours in support of Indian security missions. This was achieved in two years.

“To put this into perspective, 11 P8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft of the Indian Navy were able to fly 29,000 flight hours in 9 years while 2 MQ9A logged 10,000 flight hours in just 2 years. This is the true measure of a long endurance UAV: Persistent surveillance. Imagine what a fleet of about 10 MQ9Bs could do in exercising constant vigilance,” an observer pointed out. The original proposal envisaged an equal three-way split of the 30 HALE RPAs to be procured amongst the services.
 

WolfPack86

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India, US keen to conclude USD 3 billion MQ-9B predator drone deal
Washington, Feb 2 (PTI) India and the United States are keen for an early conclusion of the 30 MQ-9B predator armed drones deal at a cost of over USD 3 billion, which will help New Delhi strengthen its overall surveillance apparatus along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Indian Ocean.

In the works for more than five years, the “ball is now in India’s court”, officials familiar with the development said Wednesday, without explaining further.

The MQ-9B predator armed drones — 10 each for three services — is seen to be a key part of India’s national security and defense needs.

The officials did not elaborate further but ruled out that there was any bureaucratic hurdle or regulatory issues involved.

“I have to take that back and check on that,” Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Jessica Lewis told reporters here when asked for the delay in the deal, which was announced in the summer of 2017.

It has been pending for quite some time now, for reasons not known in the public. However, the issues are believed to have been discussed during the meetings that the visiting National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval has had with top American leadership, including his counterpart Jake Sullivan.

During the meetings, it is believed that both sides expressed their eagerness to see that the drone deal is fast tracked. India is eager that an early decision would help it get an early delivery of MQ-98 predator armed drones that would strengthen its national security and surveillance not only in the Indian Ocean, but also along the LAC.

The Biden administration is keen on inking this deal as soon as possible, which will create jobs and would be politically beneficial ahead of the next year’s presidential elections, according to people familiar with the development.

“MQ-9B would enable its Indian military users to fly farther than anything else in this category, spend more time in the air and handle a greater diversity of missions than any other similar aircraft. The SkyGuardian and SeaGuardian can deliver full-motion video in virtually any conditions, day or night, as well as other kinds of detailed sensing with their onboard systems,” Vivek Lall, chief executive, General Atomics Global Corporation, told PTI.

“The aircraft also can carry a wide variety of specialist payloads if they must adapt to a specific mission. A SkyGuardian becomes a SeaGuardian, for example, when it carries a 360-degree maritime search radar that gives users a quality of maritime domain awareness they can’t achieve any other way,” he said.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and other sophisticated technologies help unlock the rich feed of insight from these aircraft, analyse it and distribute it to those who need it to take quick decisions, Lall said.

“Other payloads include communications relays – so the aircraft can serve as a node connecting forces over land or sea – or other intelligence, surveillance or military systems. These aircraft can conduct search and rescue, help fight wildfires, support customs authorities, augment naval forces and take many other tasks,” he said.

“In short, MQ-9B is the premier multi-role, long endurance remotely piloted aircraft in the world today. It is in high demand. Japan, Belgium, Great Britain, and several other nations are flying or are on track to begin flying them,” Lall said.

Early in the day, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Lewis told reporters that the India-US defense relationship has gained pace.

“When we look at the relationship with India and our security cooperation with India and the defense relationship with India over the past 10 years or even a little bit longer, we’ve really seen that grow and evolve and change…in very positive ways,” Lewis said in response to a question.

“I think all the discussions (during this week’s iCET dialogue) are in that context,” she said, a day after the two countries embarked upon the ambitious initiative in critical and emerging technologies.

Everything from Indian procurement and or consideration of US systems and India’s competition, when they’re having competitions for specific systems, to just the across-the-board relationship between our defense department, the Ministry of Defense. So we see this as a place where we want to continue to work closely,” she said.

“Without getting into any of the details of the conversation, I think it’s a very rich conversation right now. And one that we’re deeply committed to not only continuing but to have growth,” Lewis said.

Responding to a question, the State Department official said the US is ready to help India diversify its defence needs.

“When it comes to India, I think there are a whole host of options. Obviously, we need to work those out with the Indian government, see what the needs are. But I think there are a whole host of options in terms of us being able to find additional systems, ways to cooperate. Obviously respecting India’s own sort of rules of the game in terms of how that works. There’s a lot more that we can do together and hope we can continue to work on that,” Lewis said. PTI LKJ AQS AQS
 

WolfPack86

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Indian forces seek armed predator drones from US
The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US, and electronic and spatial intelligence organisation NTRO will soon acquire eight Indian-manufactured medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones for border surveillance and reconnaissance, according to people aware of the matter.


The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US, and electronic and spatial intelligence organisation NTRO will soon acquire eight Indian-manufactured medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones for border surveillance and reconnaissance, according to people aware of the matter.

While Indian Navy already has two General Atomics-manufactured Sea Guardian (MQ 9B) drones for maritime domain awareness on lease from the US, the acquisition of 18 armed drones on a government-to-government basis -- with each of the three services getting six drones -- will be put up before the Modi government at the Combined Commanders Conference at Karwar Naval Base in April, the people said. The conference, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was shifted from March to April due to logistical requirements.

Though the navy, which is the leading service in armed drone acquisition and deployment, earlier projected the requirement of 30 drones at cost of $3 billion, the number was pruned to 18 after operational analysis, mission requirements, and force projection due diligence by the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).

Incidentally, the Indian Embassy in Washington hosted Neal Blue, chairman, General Atomics, and Dr Vivek Lall, CEO, General Atomics, among other top CEOs at a dinner in honour of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during NSA Ajit Doval’s visit to the US on February 3-4. It was during this visit that the White House announced a path-breaking high-technology partnership with India.

While India has acquired the capability to build MALE reconnaissance and surveillance drones with the help of Israel in a joint venture in Gujarat, the Indian military needs armed drones since both China and Pakistan have the Wing Loong II armed drones in their arsenals. Also, the lease for the two Sea Guardian drones runs out early next year but will likely be extended given its high-definition imagery, long endurance, and other surveillance capabilities. The Indian Navy also used the Sea Guardian drones and the Boeing P 8 I multi-mission aircraft to scan the entire 3,044km Line of Actual Control with China to understand the military preparations made by the PLA. This has given the Indian military a clear idea of the Chinese army’s plans and capabilities.

Though some national security planners feel the Predator-armed drone is prohibitively expensive, and find US-made manned Boeing P 8I aircraft sufficient for the job, the Indian military wants a mix of both armed and surveillance drones for country-specific missions. The Predator armed drone can fly up to 50,000 feet for up to 24 hours, and carries an option of Hellfire air-to-ground missiles for high-value targets or air-to-air missiles to bring down aerial enemy targets.
 

SUPERPOWER

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Indian forces seek armed predator drones from US
The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US, and electronic and spatial intelligence organisation NTRO will soon acquire eight Indian-manufactured medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones for border surveillance and reconnaissance, according to people aware of the matter.


The Indian armed forces are seeking 18 armed Predator MQ 9A drones from the US, and electronic and spatial intelligence organisation NTRO will soon acquire eight Indian-manufactured medium altitude long endurance (MALE) drones for border surveillance and reconnaissance, according to people aware of the matter.

While Indian Navy already has two General Atomics-manufactured Sea Guardian (MQ 9B) drones for maritime domain awareness on lease from the US, the acquisition of 18 armed drones on a government-to-government basis -- with each of the three services getting six drones -- will be put up before the Modi government at the Combined Commanders Conference at Karwar Naval Base in April, the people said. The conference, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was shifted from March to April due to logistical requirements.

Though the navy, which is the leading service in armed drone acquisition and deployment, earlier projected the requirement of 30 drones at cost of $3 billion, the number was pruned to 18 after operational analysis, mission requirements, and force projection due diligence by the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).

Incidentally, the Indian Embassy in Washington hosted Neal Blue, chairman, General Atomics, and Dr Vivek Lall, CEO, General Atomics, among other top CEOs at a dinner in honour of US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan during NSA Ajit Doval’s visit to the US on February 3-4. It was during this visit that the White House announced a path-breaking high-technology partnership with India.

While India has acquired the capability to build MALE reconnaissance and surveillance drones with the help of Israel in a joint venture in Gujarat, the Indian military needs armed drones since both China and Pakistan have the Wing Loong II armed drones in their arsenals. Also, the lease for the two Sea Guardian drones runs out early next year but will likely be extended given its high-definition imagery, long endurance, and other surveillance capabilities. The Indian Navy also used the Sea Guardian drones and the Boeing P 8 I multi-mission aircraft to scan the entire 3,044km Line of Actual Control with China to understand the military preparations made by the PLA. This has given the Indian military a clear idea of the Chinese army’s plans and capabilities.

Though some national security planners feel the Predator-armed drone is prohibitively expensive, and find US-made manned Boeing P 8I aircraft sufficient for the job, the Indian military wants a mix of both armed and surveillance drones for country-specific missions. The Predator armed drone can fly up to 50,000 feet for up to 24 hours, and carries an option of Hellfire air-to-ground missiles for high-value targets or air-to-air missiles to bring down aerial enemy targets.
RUSTOM UNCLE ABHI BHI UD RAHE HAI KYA CHELLAKARE MAIN?
 
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WolfPack86

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India Likely To Sign Deal For 18 Armed Drones From US During Prime Minister Modi's Visit This Year
India could buy 18 armed MQ-9 Predators drones from the United States and the deal could be signed as early as June 2023, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States, reports Hindustan Times.
All services, the Navy, the Air Force and the Army are expected to get six drones each.
 

SilentlAssassin265

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India Likely To Sign Deal For 18 Armed Drones From US During Prime Minister Modi's Visit This Year
India could buy 18 armed MQ-9 Predators drones from the United States and the deal could be signed as early as June 2023, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits the United States, reports Hindustan Times.
All services, the Navy, the Air Force and the Army are expected to get six drones each.
Been hearing this for last 2 years
 

WolfPack86

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India Moves Closer to Approving Purchase of Armed Drones From the U.S.
NEW DELHI—India is close to approving a deal to buy high-altitude armed drones from the U.S. as it seeks to counter a more-assertive Chinese stance on the countries’ contested Himalayan border, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The purchase of the advanced MQ-9B drones—equipped with antisubmarine warfare capabilities as well as land-attack and antiship missiles—would also boost the Indian navy’s surveillance efforts in the Indian Ocean, where China’s naval presence has grown. The decision-making process around the acquisition is gathering momentum in New Delhi, and it could be approved in the next few weeks, according to the people.

If India signs off on the purchase, the deal would need U.S. approval and signing an agreement between the governments could take months. Such an agreement would make India the first country that isn’t a U.S. treaty ally to buy the armed version of the drones. A Pentagon spokesman, Army Lt. Col. Marty Meiners, said the Department of Defense doesn’t comment on potential foreign military sales prior to their formal notification to Congress.

The country’s security forces have operated two MQ-9B drones of a basic version since leasing them from the U.S. in 2020 after a deadly border confrontation with China. The aircraft have provided information about China’s troop and infrastructure buildup and played a critical role in helping India plan its counter moves, according to one of the people with knowledge of the proposed acquisition, who is an Indian security official.

The leased drones have clocked a total of 10,000 hours in the past two years, flying as far as the Gulf of Aden and the South China Sea, the official said.

New Delhi had originally planned to buy 30 drones for roughly $3 billion. The number could be lowered to between 18 and 24 after a recent assessment by a panel consisting of representatives of all three military branches, the security official said. The acquisition needs the go-ahead from two government committees, one headed by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and the other by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The deal would boost a security relationship that has grown rapidly in recent years. Defense trade between the U.S. and India, which was close to zero in 2008, grew to $20 billion by 2020, according to the U.S. State Department. The countries have over the past decade signed pacts that make it easier to use each other’s military bases for replenishment and refueling and to share encrypted military intelligence and geospatial data.

The MQ-9B Predator drones, manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics, would mark the first major American foreign military sales to India since 2020 when New Delhi ordered two dozen Sikorsky MH-60R maritime helicopters made by Lockheed Martin Corp. for an estimated $2.6 billion.

“If the deal goes through it would symbolize a new comfort level that the two countries have with each other where cutting-edge defense technology cooperation is becoming a norm rather than an exception,” said Harsh V. Pant, vice president for foreign policy at New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation.

New Delhi is keeping a closer eye on the country’s border with China where it says Beijing has taken a more aggressive stance in recent years. Both sides have moved tens of thousands of troops there since the 2020 clash in which 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers were killed.

India’s navy also patrols the Indian Ocean to track deployments of Chinese warships. The drones would reduce operating costs for the navy, which currently uses long-range patrol aircraft such as Boeing Co.’s P-8I, the Indian security official said.
 

Shuturmurg

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Holy shit, just came across this thread, never knew this tamasha is going on for 7 years :facepalm:
 

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