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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

United States government approves sale of 31 MQ-9B piloted aircraft (Sea Guardian drones) to India

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 02.02.24, 05:33 AM
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Representational image File image

The US government on Thursday approved the sale of 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft (Sea Guardian drones) and related equipment to India for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion.

“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency said.

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India has requested the US to buy 31 MQ-9B Sky Guardian aircraft, 161 Embedded Global Positioning & Inertial Navigation Systems, 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 16 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles, 310 GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB), 8 GBU-39B/B LSDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs) with live fuzes, besides logistics support, the statement said.

This proposed sale, the statement said, will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the US by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship. “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. India has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing its military and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces,” the statement said.

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