Updated March 3rd, 2024 at 21:20 IST

India advances in acquiring 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian Drones

The proposed sale aligns with the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.

Reported by: Business Desk
Drone | Image:Needpix
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Sale of 21MQ-9B: The sale of 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian Drones to India is poised to advance rapidly as the mandatory 30-day Congressional notification period is expected to conclude without objections. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) had earlier notified the US Congress about a potential Foreign Military Sale to India, with an estimated cost of $3.99 billion. This comprehensive deal includes 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian Drones valued at USD 1.70 billion, accompanied by various services, technology, and equipment amounting to $2.29 billion.

The proposed sale aligns with the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States. It represents a significant step forward in the strategic partnership between the two nations. The MQ-9B SkyGuardian Drones are known for their versatility and advanced capabilities, making them valuable assets for a range of military and security applications.

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The next procedural step involves the United States sending a letter of offer and acceptance to India, a formality that is typically routine. India, having cleared major legal and bureaucratic procedures, including approvals from the Union Cabinet, is expected to provide formal acceptance. This acceptance is crucial as it initiates the formal price negotiation process between the two countries.

Despite the upcoming general elections in India, the Model Code of Conduct, which normally restricts certain activities during elections, is unlikely to be a hindrance. The Model Code of Conduct explicitly exempts matters directly related to the defence forces from its purview. Therefore, the defence procurement process, including the sale of military equipment, remains unaffected by the election-related guidelines.

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This development underscores the commitment of both countries to bolstering their defence ties and enhancing mutual strategic interests. As the MQ-9B SkyGuardian Drones find their way into India's military capabilities, it marks a notable milestone in the collaborative efforts between India and the United States in the realm of defence and security.

With PTI Inputs

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Published March 3rd, 2024 at 21:02 IST