Mega Armed Drone deal with US | UPSC Notes

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The Defence and Acquisition Council recently cleared a deal between India and the United States to buy Armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from the US.

Key points:

• Under the deal, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems,Inc. (GA-ASI) will sell about 30 armed MQ-9B drones to India. Twelve of these will go to the Indian Navy, and the rest will be used by the Indian Army and Indian Air Force.

• Co-production of the GE-F-414 propeller engines for the improved Tejas-Mark 2 is another deal.

About the drones:

• The UAVs should be able to stay in the air for a long time and be dangerous. They should be able to find and identify ships at sea, and if they are armed, they should be able to attack and run operations up to the choke points at the ends of the Indian Ocean region.

• The UAVs should be able to work for more than 30 hours and have a range of up to 5500 nautical miles in all kinds of weather. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) is the company that makes drones. It makes unmanned aircraft and offers radar, signal intelligence, and automated airborne systems.

• The drones can stay in the air for long periods of time and can be armed with air-to-ground missiles, smart bombs, Hellfire missiles with long-range precision-strike capabilities, and up to 450 kilogrammes of explosives.About $3 billion is expected to be spent on the whole deal.

• There are two kinds of MQ-9B drones: the Sky Guardian and the Sea Guardian. The three services are getting hunter killer sea guardian drones because they can do a lot of different things, like maritime intelligence, anti-submarine warfare, and over-the-horizon targeting, among other things.

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• Once they are bought, the drones will make it easier to keep watch along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and further into the Indian Ocean.