PM Modi’s US visit: India asks US for Predator C drones

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India has formally asked the United States for Predator C Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs), a leading defence journal says.

Reliable sources told India Strategic that the Predator C requirement has been mentioned at a very high level during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s just-concluded visit to Washington. Now that India is getting into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), President Barack Obama will ask the State and Defense Departments to consider the Indian request.

Predator C is made by General Atomics Aeronautical System Inc. (GA-ASI), which has already offered an unarmed version, Predator XP, to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Navy for reconnaissance purposes.

The number of drones required by India is not known but the UCAV, also known as Avenger, will be operated by the Indian Air Force which, in any case, is also short of manned combat jets. In the troubled terror-infested environment around India, a combination of manned and unmanned precision strike aircraft and systems is an immediate necessity.

The IAF had, in fact, asked the Ministry of Defence for strike drones – or UCAVs – at least six or seven years ago.

Avenger is a further development of the MQ 9 Reaper, which is extensively used by the US CIA to neutralise terrorists with precision strikes and minimum collateral damage.

Avenger has a turboprop engine, some stealth features, a highly sophisticated Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for reconnaissance and targeting and can carry air-to-ground missiles like the Hellfire. It can be controlled from anywhere in the world through satellite connectivity.

Notably, although a strike drone like the Predator C has no onboard pilot, its operation requires a couple of people at the control station to monitor the target area and then to command the machine to shoot after due verification.

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Predator C Avenger Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Predator C Avenger is a next generation, multi-mission, jet-powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed and manufactured by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) to provide expanded quick-response and enhanced combat capabilities

Avenger is developed from the MQ 9 Reaper drone, While the Avenger is modified with more powerful turbofan engines and internal weapon bays and reduced radar cross section. The Avenger is first in kind of stealth drones, primarily designed to strike targets deep behind enemy lines in a contested air space. which is perfectly suits Indian’s need of Strike targets deep behind Pakistan, more clearly anywhere in Pakistan.

The Predactor C Avenger offers long endurance and high operational speeds, and can be deployed in intelligence, border and wide-area surveillance, armed reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions against threats in both conventional and asymmetric warfare.

The six external wing hard points aboard the Avenger ensure the carriage of missiles, bombs and munitions. The UAS can also accommodate up to 1,588kg of precision munitions in the internal weapons bay.

The Avenger can fly as much as height of some 50,000 feet, well above from civil air traffic. Avenger can stay in the air for long time to continuously patrol the designated zone for activities. Avenger can continuously fly more than eighteen hours at the speed of some 700 kmph, Avenger is the only combat drone in the world that can fly such high subsonic speed. The Avenger combat drone can be carried by the C 17 Strategic air lifter, Which can be launched from the C 17 at some specified altitude.
     Avenger can carry more than 1500 kg’s of payload in it’s internal weapon bays, which include guided bombs and glide bombs. While the Avenger yet to fire stand off cruise missiles. The external hard points can carry guided missiles like hell fire for anti armor support. mostly used for destroying enemy mobile air defense batteries. The Internal weapons bay can reduce the RCS signatures makes the drone nearly stealth when flying at the civil traffic altitude.

Source:- financial express

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