India buys the dangerous MQ-9B hunter-killer UAV totalling $600M

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NEW DELHI, (BM) – The armament of the Indian army continues in full force, learned BulgarianMilitary.com. After in recent months, despite the epidemic situation around the world, India bought French and Russian fighters, placed orders for air defense systems, tanks and assault rifles for soldiers, today it became clear that New Delhi is ready to pay nearly $ 600 million. for six MQ-9B Guardian drones.

Read more: India in the race of hypersonic arms. Successful flight of the missile demonstrator

According to information from the Indian Ministry of Defense, the new unmanned aerial vehicles [UAV – ed.] will be intended for use by both ground forces and the Air Force and Navy.

However, according to a source from the Indian Ministry of Defense, this may be the beginning of a large-scale order of the same model of drones, as according to him [source – ed.] New Delhi is preparing in the future to make a large-scale order to the United States worth $ 3 billion to order about 30 pcs.

Specifically for this order, it is known that the first six drones must be purchased immediately and delivered as soon as possible. Due to the quantity of the order, this will not be a problem for American manufacturers. The only ones unknown so far are the types of drone weapons, and it is assumed that Hellfire missiles may become part of the Indian version of the device.

According to the Indian Ministry’s plans, if a total of 30 unmanned aerial vehicles are to be ordered, the remaining 24 would have to be delivered within 36 months, with 8 to each troop.

A program to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles for all types of troops was drawn up in 2018, when the armed version of the MQ-9 was approved by US authorities for sale in India.

“The MQ-9 is controlled by a satellite, can be in the air at an altitude of 45,000 feet [13,700 m] and stay in the zone for 35 hours, radars and electronic sensors to detect the enemy can work anywhere and can to be used everywhere, in the Gulf of Aden or the Strait of Malacca or in East Ladakh,” said a senior defense official.

India is back on the market and begins mass buying weapons

As we reported on August 12 the Indian Ministry of Defense approved the accelerated implementation of projects for the production and acquisition of the latest weapons for the country’s armed forces.

Read more: Indian Air Force Included Its First BrahMos Cruise Missile Into Active Service

“The Defense Procurement Council, under the leadership of Defense Minister Rajnat Singh, has decided to accelerate the implementation of plans to modernize the Air Force’s 90 Israeli-made Charon medium-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles and equip them with precision weapons to destroy ground targets. It will include laser-guided bombs, missiles class “air-to-surface” and anti-tank guided missiles, airborne,” said the publication of representatives of the Indian defense department.

The acquisition from the United States of 30 MQ-1B Predator long-range drones and their naval modifications was also approved; it was decided to accelerate the start of production of about 700 thousand AK-203 assault rifles at the joint Russian-Indian enterprise Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited in the city of Corve (Uttar Pradesh) and the purchase of 106 Russian-made training aircraft from HAL, 76-mm rapid-fire artillery installations for ships of the Navy and high-precision ammunition for 125-mm guns.

The accelerated purchase of these weapons, worth more than $ 1.1 billion, will take place against the backdrop of continuing military tensions in Ladakh on the line of de facto control, which arose due to clashes in May and June between Indian and Chinese troops. During the conflict, at least 20 Indian fighters were killed, 76 people were injured.

According to the Indian side, about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or wounded in the clashes. This was the reason for the transfer of military units, military equipment and military aviation by India and China to Ladakh. In July, by agreement of the parties, a gradual mutual withdrawal of troops from the area began.

India’s ambitions are even greater

Mass shopping in the arms market in India is emerging as a small part of New Delhi’s military ambitions. The recent escalation of the conflict with China has only solidified what the authorities knew – in order to deal with and defend against China and Pakistan, India must invest heavily in weapons. And if a few years ago Zoe was just waiting and wondering what weapon to buy, today India just knows what it needs and is ready to get it.

Read more: Usual suspects – India and Egypt could be the next customers of T-14 Armata tank

In the last few months, the country has begun looking for options for lighter tanks. Despite expressing interest in the Russian 2S25M Sprut-SDM1 tank destroyer, the domestic arms industry declares its readiness to rapidly construct and start production of a domestic structure of this type.

The Indian Defense Research & Development Organization (DRDO) has proposed two potential options for the rapid development of a local light tank in only 18 months based on the components and technologies in the so-called shelfs.

This concept assumes a combination of DRDO’s experience and know-how in the development of heavy combat vehicles with the production capabilities and technologies of the domestic arms industry.

With these tanks, New Delhi will rely on mobile and fast technology, which at the same time will meet the challenge of modern military forces in the world. Military experts say the presence of light tank units has made it easier for the Indian military to defend hard-to-reach areas.

Let’s not forget the Russian participation in the whole scheme. India has repeatedly stated that it wants to buy dozens of tanks from Russia’s latest platform, the T-14 Armata. There is currently no better tank in the world, and if India negotiates with Russia and succeeds in acquiring it, it will significantly tip the scales in its favor on whichever front it looks.

We remind you that very recently the country bought hundreds of additional tanks from the T-90 series, which is being jointly developed with the Russians.

At the same time, India has already launched its large-scale shopping campaign by purchasing six heavily armed reconnaissance aircraft from the United States – the Boeing P-8I Poseidon.

Modi’s ambitions are not limited to this. As already reported in July this year, on the 23rd, The US Air Force Research Laboratories have signed an agreement with an Indian startup to jointly research and develop unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Read more: Top 5 best combat drones [UAVs] in the world

“I would like to emphasize a very interesting project that we are currently negotiating – the joint development of a UAV launched from the air with the research laboratories of the US Air Force, Indian Air Force, Defense Research and Development Organization of India and an Indian startup company,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord.

The latest information that has leaked to the media and that we have also reported on is India’s desire to acquire the Israeli anti-tank Spike systems. We are talking about about 12 systems and an additional 200 anti-tank missiles. This purchase has even already entered the country’s budget planning.

In general, India is ready to spend.

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