India Has No Immediate Plans to Buy Predator Drones From US
The Indian government has flatly refused having any plans to procure the US Predator drones.
During the parliament session on Friday, a lawmaker questioned “whether the government proposes to procure Predator Guardian UAV from USA.” In a one word yet strong reply, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said “No.”
Earlier, some media outlets had reported that India’s Ministry of Defense had issued a letter of request to the US in the third week of June expressing interest in procuring 22 multi-mission Predator Guardian unmanned aerial vehicles for the Indian Navy.
The reports suggested that India would procure UAVs from the US via the Foreign Military Sales route.
India plans to procure more than 5,000 UAVs in the next 10 years. Currently, India has Israeli searcher and Heron UAVs. Last month, India’s Ministry of Defense floated a notification inviting response from indigenous manufacturers for procurement of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) UAVs for use by the three defense services.
Meanwhile, India’s state sponsored Defense Research Development Organization (DRDO) is developing the Rustom II, a MALE UAV designed to operate up to 30,000 ft above sea level and has a range of up to 100 km. The manufacturing of the first batch of Rustom IIs is likely to be completed by February 2017.
Source:- Sputnik News