India Formally Asks US for Predator C Combat Drones: Report
Predator C requirement has been mentioned at a very high level during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington.
India has formally asked the United States for Predator C Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs).
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 Defence 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 Predator C
- Avenger is a further development of the MQ 9 Reaper.
- It’s used by the US CIA to neutralise terrorists with precision strikes and minimum collateral damage.
- It can fly 1800 mi (2,900 km) from its operating base and stay airborne for 18 hours.
- Avenger has a turboprop engine.
- It has a highly sophisticated Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) for reconnaissance and targeting.
- It can carry air-to-ground missiles like the Hellfire.
- It can be controlled from anywhere in the world through satellite connectivity.
The number of drones required by India is not known but the UCAV, also known as Avenger, will be operated by the IAF which, in any case, is also short of manned combat jets.
The IAF had, in fact, asked the Ministry of Defence for strike drones – or UCAVs – at least six or seven years ago.
Avenger’s 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.
(With IANS inputs)
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