India and General Atomics have completed advanced levels of talks that will clear the path for the procurement of 30 MQ-9B Sky Guardian remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), to boost India’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.

Sales will be facilitated through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) a government-to-government agreement that will also ensure that 18 MQ-9B Sky Guardian RPAS will be locally assembled in India and 12 will be procured directly off the shelf.

The deal is estimated to be for $3 Billion which could make MQ-9B per unit cost $100 million per unit which is twice more expensive than the Tejas Mk1A fighter jet that was ordered by IAF last year. General Atomics to sweeten the deal DRDO will be allowed access to some of the niche technologies like Lynx multi-mode radar that can be later used in the Tapas and HALE Class UAVs that are under development.

30 RPAs will see a three-way equal split between Army, Air Force, and Navy. Recently a delegation from Uttar Pradesh State visited the General Atomics facilities in the United States and offered land for manufacturing of its UAVs in the country at the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor (UP DIC).

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