US approves sale of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft to India

Washington (UNI) The US State Department has approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying the Congress of this possible sale on Thursday, a DSCA release said.

The Government of India has requested to buy 31 nos MQ-9B Sky Guardian aircraft besides 161 Embedded Global Positioning & Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs), AGM-114R Hellfire missiles (170 nos), 310 nos GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB) etc.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defense partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.

The proposed sale will improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats by enabling unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance patrols in sea lanes of operation. India has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing its military and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, CA. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional US Government or contractor representatives to India.

Besides, there will be no adverse impact on US defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

The description and dollar value are for the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements. Actual dollar value will be lower depending on final requirements, budget authority, and signed sales agreement(s), if and when concluded.

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