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The Indian Army has recently shown interest in the Avenger UAV manufactured by a US-based company. Reportedly, during the recent 2+2 India-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi, the request from the Indian Army for the UAVs was one of the items discussed.
The Trump administration has already started their internal processing for 100 armed drones for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF has sought the jet propelled Avenger Drones (formerly Predator C).
Though the Indian armed forces have been using Israeli drones, the new UAVs from General Atomics are considered a game changer for the services given the geopolitics of the region. There is a requirement for at least 1000 units of UAVs in the Indian armed forces, excluding the paramilitary forces.
The critical Category One UAV technology for the Indian Navy’s request for the Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems deal of $2 billion has already been released by the Trump administration.
In 2016, the Indian navy had sent a request letter for 22 Sea Guardians to the American company. The Sea Guardian is exported to few select countries, and India will soon be joining that group.
By September this year, Indian and the U.S. have inked its second major agreements, the latest agreement being the ‘Communications, Compatibility, Security Agreement (COMCASA)’ which will allow transfer of encrypted communication security equipment from the US to India. These platforms include C-130 J, C-17, P-8I aircraft, and Apache and Chinook helicopters.
However, the two countries have yet to sign Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA), according to financialexpress.com.