US Congress gives green signal to predator drone sale to India


The US State Department is expected to notify the sale of 31 Predator armed drones to India in the next 24 hours.

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The US State Department has informed Predator Drone manufacturer General Atomics that the US Congress has cleared the ‘tiered review’ of the 31 MQ9B drone sale to India and official Congressional notification will be submitted within 24 hours. The deal is nearly worth $4 bn.

US State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller stated, “ Generally, the US-India Defence Partnership has seen significant growth over the past decade. The drone deal is a proposed sale that was announced during Prime Minister Modi’s visit last year. We believe it offers significant potential to further advance strategic technology cooperation with India and military cooperation in the region. Congress plays an important role in the US arms transfer process. We routinely consult with the members of Congress on the Foreign Affairs Committees before our formal notification, so we can address questions that they might have…..”’

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defence partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” Defence Security Cooperation Agency said.

The critical defence deal was on the cards since 6 years and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US visit marked the final go-ahead. The government-to-government $3.99 billion deal was finalized. The 31 drones will be used by the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force.

The approval by the US agency comes at a time when media reports were circulating that the US has put the deal on hold over the alleged failed plot by an Indian national to kill India-designated Khalistani terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

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