SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
The Indian Navy has extended the lease of the two Sea Guardian drones from an American defense major to enhance surveillance over the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) by another two years after MQ-9B clocked an impressive 10,000th flight hour and covered 14 million square miles of operating area in last two years of the lease.
General Atomics provided the MQ-9Bs to India under a Company-Owned, Company-Operated (COCO) lease agreement and operates the UAS on behalf of the Indian Navy. Indian Navy is also leading negotiations for the purchase of 30 MQ-9B armed drones for over $3 billion where the air force, army, and army will get 10 drones each.
Deal presently is stuck due to certain issues related to cost, weapons package, and technology sharing. Media reports indicate that the Indian Navy might go ahead and lease two more MQ-9B from General Atomics till the deal is concluded. idrw.org has previously reported that Army and Airforce due to high procurement costs are not so keen on the purchase while the Navy is very much keen on its procurement.
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