General Atomics Sea Guardian ‘cleared’ for India
The US State Department has issued necessary licences for the export of 22 Predator Guardian drones to India, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump had their first bilateral meeting at the White House. A DSP-5 category license is issued for the permanent export of military hardware as found in the US Munitions List which is defined by the International Traffic Arms Regulations.
The Guardian drones will enhance India’s maritime surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean region and are estimated to cost around $2 billion and are being built by General Atomics. “We are extremely pleased that President Trump and Prime Minister Modi have had excellent deliberations and the path forward for a gamechanger in US-India defence relations has been charted,” said Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, US and International Strategic Development, General Atomics. Given the Sea Guardian’s capabilities ,the US offer demonstrates a major change in US policy because this type of aircraft capability is only exported to a very select few of America’s closest defense partners. Such an offer represents tangible implementation of the United States Congress’ designation of India as a ‘Major Defence Partner’,” continued Dr Lall.