iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
In a bid to strengthen India’s defense prowess and military ties with the United States, the Defense Ministry is set to take up the case for the acquisition of 30 Predator drones.
A high-level meeting that will be chaired by the Defense Secretary has been scheduled on Monday, November, 22, that will take up the case of acquisition of 30 Predator drones worth over Rs 20,000 crore for the three defense forces – Army, Navy and Air Force.
If the acquisition is cleared, then it would be forwarded to the Defense Acquisition Council for final approval by the defense ministry. Following that, it will be forwarded to the Cabinet Committee on Security to give the final green light before the contract is signed.
The negotiations over the acquisition of American Predator drones for Indian armed forces have been going on between the two countries for more than two years. Sources have stated that the negotiations are in the final stages of getting cleared by the government.
The Indian Navy is the lead service for the acquisition and is also jointly putting it up for clearance from the government. If the deal is sealed then all three services are set to get 10 drones each which would be used for surveillance as well striking targets as and when required.
Earlier, it was reported that Predator drones have been inducted into Indian defense services on lease as they were taken by the Indian Navy under emergency procurement powers given to the services by the government.
In addition, the Indian Navy has also been flying these drones in the Indian Ocean Region. With over 30 hours of endurance, the Navy is enhancing the domain awareness of the force in the area where the Chinese Navy warships and submarines along with merchant vessels are frequently passing through.
Moreover, India is also getting drones from Israel which are helping them to get coverage in high altitude areas and have been equipped with the latest surveillance gadgets.