US clears sale of 31 armed drones to India for nearly $4 billion

The US has cleared the sale of MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones to India in a deal nearly worth $4 Billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency has delivered the required certification, notifying the US Congress of the possible sale today.

India had proposed to purchase 31 MQ-9B Sky Guardian drones during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to the US last year. The Biden administration’s approval is an important landmark in the government-to-government deal.

“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 that continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” Defense Security Cooperation 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. India has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing its military and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces,” the agency added.

The critical defense deal was in the works for close to six years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit marked the final go-ahead and the government-to-government $3.99 billion deal was finalized. The 31 drones will be used by the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force.

The approval by the US agency comes at a time when media reports were circulating that the US has put the deal on hold over the alleged failed plot by an Indian national to kill India-designated Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

Image courtesy of thesatimes

Share this post