The MQ-9B Guardian drones being bought from the United States will be assembled in India, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has confirmed.
In a Tweet, the Defence Minister said that, "To increase the friendship between India and America, there has also been an agreement to buy MQ-9B drones, which will be assembled in India only. Their MRO will also be done in India".
On 15 June, just a week before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'state' visit to the US, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), led by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved a deal to buy 31 MQ-9B drones from the US.
As part of the deal, 15 MQ-9B Sea Guardians will be for the Navy, and eight MQ-9B Sky Guardian each for the Army and the Air Force.
He also confirmed that the drones' Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) will also be done in India.
Earlier, in February 2023, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has signed a deal with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) to establish an MRO facility in India.
HAL will also manufacture and provide MRO support for the TPE 331-5 engines that power the MQ-9Bs in India.
Apart from HAL, GA-ASI has also signed an agreement with Bharat Forge, to manufacture several components of MQ-9Bs, including assemblies and sub-assemblies, in India.
The Indian Ministry of Defence, according to a report by ET, is also negotiating with General Atomics to increase the Made-in-India content of the deal from the earlier 8 to 9 per cent to 15 to 20 per cent.
The drones will also likely be integrated with Indian made bombs and missiles, as well.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.
The embedded tweet could not be found…