The US administration has approved the sale of armed drones to India and also offered integrated air and missile defence systems to help boost military capabilities and protect the shared security interests in the Indo-Pacific region, The Economic Times reports.
The approval and offer from the Donald Trump-led administration come after the 14 February terrorist attacks in Pulwama, which saw 40 Indian soldiers martyred as well as the increasing militarisation and assertiveness of China in the region.
“The United States approved the sale of the armed drones to India. We have offered integrated air and missile defence technology to India,” a senior White House official was quoted by PTI.
The official did not reveal when the armed drones were sold to India. Back in 2017, the US had agreed to sell surveillance version of the Guardian drones after a meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump.
A defence industry source said that the deal has not been completed yet due to the general elections. The ball is now in India’s court as in recent months the US informed its decision to the Centre, the source adds.
The deal, if signed, can range over 2.5 billion dollars. Despite officials being tight-lipped about the integrated defence missile systems, it is believed that the US offered the latest Terminal High Altitude Area Defence system (THAD) and the Patriot Missile defence system.
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