The United States (US) is believed to have informed New Delhi in the recent months about its decision to sell armed Guardian (variant of Predator B) drones, of which the US had previously agreed to sell only surveillance versions to India, reports Tribune India.
The Indian armed forces has been looking to purchase both the armed and surveillance versions of the Predator drones manufactured by General Atomics of the US. These are expected to boost India's maritime surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean and also its ability to hit targets in land, in the air and at the sea.
It should be noted that in the present day, India does not have any armed drones or unmanned aerial vehicles that can fire missiles at desired targets and return to their bases. Thus, the US's decision to allow sales of armed drones to India is likely to significantly alter the dynamics as well as New Delhi's prowess in the region.
Meanwhile, Indian is also in the midst of developing its own unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV) platform, called AURA. This platform will be capable of releasing missiles, bombs and precision guided munitions. The project is presently in the initial stages.