SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
India has been negotiating with the US for the procurement of 30 MQ-9B Predator armed drones for $3 billion which will see 10 drones each for the Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and Indian Navy that already operates on lease two MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones from General Atomics for one year for surveillance in the Indian Ocean.
While the Navy has been super impressed with the performance of the MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones that are on the lease, idrw.org has been told that both Army and Air force are not so impressed with the $100 million per unit cost of these drones, and instead favor procuring the more Heron TP drones from Israel.
Indian Army earlier this year received deliveries of two of the four new Heron TP drones from Israel earlier this year which were bought under emergency powers delegated to it in 2020 for deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China. Heron TP might not be in the same league as MQ-9B Predator drones but they cost less than $40 million per unit which is less than half the cost of the MQ-9B.
On the instance of the Indian Army and Indian Air Force, the MoD sought clarity from General Atomics Global Corporation about acquisition and maintenance costs, plus transfers of technology. General Atomics has now full ToT to India but the question remains can the price be brought down with local manufacturing and how many more units will three branches of the armed forces be willing to procure?
NOTE : Article cannot be reproduced without written permission of idrw.org in any form even for YouTube Videos to avoid Copy right strikes