India and the United States have agreed to a phased acquisition of MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones, with the first phase of the deal involving the purchase of unarmed drones. The weapons package for the drones will be procured in Phase II of the acquisition.
The MQ-9B is a long-range, high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is capable of carrying a variety of weapons, including Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs. The drones will be used for a variety of purposes, including surveillance, intelligence gathering, and targeting.
The acquisition of the MQ-9B drones is a significant development in India’s military modernization efforts. The drones will provide India with a much-needed capability to conduct long-range surveillance and strike operations. The drones will also be a valuable asset in India’s efforts to counter terrorism and other security threats.
The acquisition of the MQ-9B drones is also a sign of the growing strategic partnership between India and the United States. The two countries have been working together to strengthen their defense ties in recent years, and the MQ-9B deal is a further indication of this trend.
The first phase of the MQ-9B acquisition is expected to be completed by 2024. The weapons package for the drones is expected to be procured in Phase II of the acquisition, which is scheduled to be completed by 2026.