India plans to buy 30 MQ-9 Reaper drones for $3 billion from US company General Atomics
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The procurement is being done as India is facing war-like situation on two fronts -- Pakistan and China.
The approval to take these armed drones could be finalised during Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting lead by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
These MQ-9B Predator drones are manufactured by San Diego-based General Atomics. The MQ-9B has an endurance of 48 hours and a range of over 6,000 nautical miles. It carries maximum payload of 2-tonne.
It comes with nine hard-points, capable of carrying sensors and laser-guided bombs besides air-to-ground missiles.
Last month, Indian Army Chief, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, highlighted the role of drones in military warfare.
Speaking during an webinar organised by Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) about multi-domain operations and the future of warfare, the Indian Army Chief had said that everyone has seen how the very imaginative and offensive use of drones in Idlib and then in Armenia-Azerbaijan, challenged the traditional prima donnas: the tanks, the artillery and the dug-in infantry.
Naravane said that the swarm drone demonstration was a message to India's adversaries that "the Indian Army is steadily inducting niche capabilities to enhance our combat proficiencies in Multi-Domain Operations".
He said that swarm drones can overwhelm and effectively suppress an enemy's Air Defence Capability, creating windows of opportunities for strike elements. "It is also no longer necessary to score a physical hit to destroy a target.
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