New Delhi: India will acquire 30 Sea Guardian drones from US amid standoff with the latter over USD5.4 billion deal with Russia for S-400 Triumf missile system.
The proposal has now reached the Defence Acquisitions Council (DAC) for approval. A “letter of request” will be issued to the US government once “acceptance of necessity” is granted by the DAC, the report said.
India will be the third country and the first non-NATO member nation to get the armed version of Guardian drones by the US.
According to reports, the drones will be used by the Armed Forces with 10 drones each for the Army, Navy and the IAF. These are meant to destroy targets on land and sea.
It is designed for long-endurance flight and high-altitude surveillance like the “hunter-killer” Sea Guardians and capable of firing air-to-ground missiles and smart bombs.
India has already made it clear that it will not cancel the acquisition of S-400 Triumf deal despite the fact that US has offered fifth generation fighter F-35 to India.
Defence sources said modern-day drones are capable of flying for a longer duration compared to a fighter aircraft. They are best-suited for carrying out long-range intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, the sources added.