India-US MQ-9B Armed Drone Deal Explained In 5 Points

MQ-9B is the next generation of remotely piloted aircraft systems, delivering persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance around the globe

India will buy the MQ-9B next generation remotely piloted aircraft systems from the US

New Delhi: India will buy the MQ-9B armed drones from the US, which will help the Indian military scale up with the fast-changing nature of warfare. Drones and other autonomous systems are increasingly being used in conflict zones around the world.

Here's your 5-point cheatsheet on the drone deal

  1. The MQ-9B is a next-generation remotely piloted aircraft that delivers persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance around the globe, says General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

  2. India will buy 31 MQ-9Bs. Of this, the navy will get 15 MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, and the army and the air force will get eight each of the land attack and reconnaissance version called SkyGuardian.

  3. The Biden administration yesterday informed the US Congress on its plan to sell 31 MQ-9B long-endurance drones to India. The deal was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in June 2023.

  4. The MQ-9B SkyGuardian is the army and air force version. It can fly over the horizon via satellite for up to 40 hours or more in all types of weather, and safely integrate into civil airspace, enabling joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the world, day or night.

  5. The MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the maritime-focused sibling of the SkyGuardian. SeaGuardian can also fly over the horizon via satellite for over 30 hours (depending on configuration). This versatile maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft also has a self-contained anti-submarine warfare mission kit.

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