Empowering India’s Defense: The Game-Changing Leap with Predator Drones
The Narendra Modi government’s strategic move to acquire the US Predator MQ-9B armed drone stems from a pivotal realization of its effectiveness in gathering crucial intelligence. Post-PLA aggression in East Ladakh in May 2020, the surveillance footage from the leased Sky Guardian drones provided India with crystal clear images of Chinese military activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This actionable intelligence, combined with the capabilities of the Indian Navy’s Boeing P8I multi-mission aircraft, enabled comprehensive insights into PLA military infrastructure, missile silos, rocket systems, and troop movements.
The recent approval of a USD 3.99 billion deal for India to acquire 31 armed versions of the Predator drone marks a significant milestone. This hunter-killer drone enhances India’s military capability, allowing projection of power across thousands of kilometers in the Indo-Pacific region. With 15 drones at its disposal, the Indian Navy gains unmatched maritime domain awareness, reinforcing deterrence against any expansionist naval threats.
Despite potential attempts by certain media outlets to cast shadows on the deal, the strong rapport between the top leadership of India and the US ensures a smooth process. While some sources may attempt to sow seeds of suspicion, it’s crucial to recognize the ongoing collaboration between the two nations. Reports suggesting setbacks in the transfer of GE-414 engine technology for Tejas Mark II are debunked, as the deal is cleared, and commercial negotiations between GE and HAL are underway. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval remains closely informed about the progress of the India-US Predator deal, affirming a synchronized approach to bolstering India’s defense capabilities.