Citing sources, NDTV reports that the MQ-9 procurement deal was approved at a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Council, chaired by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, on Thursday, June 15. The final approval for this has to be obtained from the Cabinet Committee on Security. India is going to buy 30 drones from America, which will be distributed to the three armies of the country.
Reports suggest that the deal is worth $3 billion. Out of 30 MQ-9 drones, the Army and Air Force will get 8-8 and the Navy will get 14 drones.
The MQ-9, developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, can attack the enemy with missiles from a distance of 1200 km. The US used this and a few other similar models for surveillance and strikes on terrorist activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Although America has many Predator drones, but if we talk about the popular MQ-9A Reaper drone, it can fly at a maximum height of 50,000 feet. Its top speed is 240 KTAS (445 kmph). Its length is 36 feet, wing span is 66 feet and maximum gross takeoff weight is 4,763 kg.
Gerenal Atomics also has several other Predator drones, including the MQ-9B STOL, MQ-9B SeaGuardian, MQ9B SkyGuardian, and many more.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going on an official state visit to the US on June 22, where as per reports, co-production of weapons and ground vehicles is also expected to be discussed between PM Modi and President Biden.