India to get ‘unarmed guardian’ drones?

#India #US #military #drones #IndianOcean #China #LockheedMartin

The United States has cleared it’s sale for 22 American-made Guardian drones to the Indian armed forces, striking a deal worth $2-$3 billion. These unarmed drones will be used by the Indian forces to keep a watch over activities in the Indian Ocean, which is frequented by Chinese naval assets.

This is would be the first such purchase by a country outside the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance. India was also renamed as a major defense ally by Washington.

The Indian Military had originally asked for missile-firing Predator Avenger aircraft, a request turned down by the Obama administration.

India is also in talks with the US-based firm Lockheed Martin to transfer the ageing F-16 production line from Texas to India.

Read the full article here

That is strange. I feel it is too expensive for a surveillance drone, and India might have been much more cost-effective if it had encouraged researchers/scientists to make drones in India itself. And I do not think the requirement for surveillance drones was as serious as armed drones, so as to watch the Indian borders in the North.

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