Gen­eral Atomics Sea Guardian ‘cleared’ for In­dia

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & in 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.

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