US okays potential $4B MQ-9B drone deal with India

Equipment & technology

The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to the Government of India of MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft.

General Atomics

As informed, the deal covers sale of MQ-9B drones and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

The Government of India has requested to buy 31 MQ-9B Sky Guardian aircraft, 161 Embedded Global Positioning & Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs) and 35 L3 Rio Grande Communications Intelligence Sensor Suites.

Furthermore, the FMS includes 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 16 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM), 310 GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB), and 8 GBU-39B/B LSDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs) with live fuzes.

Also included are Certifiable Ground Control Stations, TPE-331-10-GD engines, M299 Hellfire missile launchers, KIV-77 cryptographic appliques and other Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment, and KOR-24A Small Tactical Terminals (STT).

Moreover, the country also opted for other equipment as well as repair and return support, secure communications, precision navigation, and cryptographic equipment; munitions support and support equipment, testing and integration support and equipment.

U.S. Government will also provide contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services.

The proposed sale is expected to improve India’s capability to meet current and future threats by enabling unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance patrols in sea lanes of operation.

The principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, CA.