US senators lobby Donald Trump for clearance of $2 bn Guardian defence deal with India
A bipartisan pair of key senators is pressing the Trump administration to approve the $2-billion General Atomics’ Guardian defence deal between the US and India, arguing that US jobs hang in the balance.
India has been declared a strategic defence partner after joining the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and this deal is considered a centrepiece of the relationship. This deal could be a good deliverable from President Trump for the potential upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US.
According to sources, senators John Cornyn and Mark Warner jointly sent a letter to defense secretary Jim Mattis and secretary of state Rex Tillerson to approve the export of General Atomics’ Guardian, a non-lethal maritime version of the MQ-9 Reaper. The two lawmakers co-chair the US-India caucus. While Cornyn is the number two Republican in the Senate, Warner is the vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
India has requested information multiple times over the last year. India has sent letters of request for 22 Guardian drones and three electromagnetic catapults under the US Foreign Military Sales programme. Renowned US aerospace leader Dr Vivek Lall has been spearheading both pursuits for General Atomics. During recent high-level visits, Indian and US government officials have had significant discussions on the ‘Guardian’.
Source:- Financial Express