India Approves Acquisition of Predator Drones ahead of PM Modi’s US Visit

Defence Ministry Approves Predator Drone Acquisition

In preparation for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the United States, India’s Defence Ministry has granted approval for the acquisition of ‘Predator (MQ-9 Reaper) drones’ from America. This significant deal, estimated to be worth approximately USD 3 billion, was approved during a meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on June 15. The final decision on the procurement will be made by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS). The formal announcement of this mega procurement deal is expected to take place following discussions between Prime Minister Modi and President Joe Biden at the White House.

MQ-9B Drones Selected for Procurement

India has chosen the MQ-9B drone variant, based on the MQ-9 Reaper, for its diverse capabilities, including maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, and over-the-horizon targeting. The Indian Navy is set to receive 14 drones, while the Indian Air Force and Army will each receive eight. These high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) drones have an impressive endurance of over 35 hours and can carry four Hellfire missiles and approximately 450 kg of bombs.

Progress on the Acquisition Process

The Defence Ministry is currently in the process of issuing an actionable letter of request (LoR) to the US government. Upon receiving the US government’s letter of offer and acceptance, the formal contract for the acquisition is expected to be finalized. However, it remains uncertain whether the procurement will involve any technology transfer.

Manufacturing Agreement for GE-414 Fighter Jet Engine

During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Washington, there is a possibility of a manufacturing agreement for the GE-414 fighter jet engine in India. This agreement aims to power India’s indigenous combat aircraft, with the GE-414 engine being considered as a potential choice for the project.

Prime Minister Modi’s Engagements in the US

As part of his visit, Prime Minister Modi will make history by becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to address the Joint Meeting of the US Congress for the second time. This invitation underscores the deep-rooted relationship between the United States and India, emphasizing their shared commitment to global peace and prosperity, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi will address a gathering of Indian Americans in Washington, D.C., focusing on the role of the Indian diaspora in India’s development. This invitation-only event has gained significant attention, with all 838 seats being sold out.

Predator Drones – FAQs

Q1: What notable engagements are planned for Prime Minister Modi’s US visit?

Ans: As the first Indian prime minister to do so twice, Prime Minister Modi will speak before the Joint Meeting of the US Congress. He will also speak to a group of Indian Americans, emphasising the contribution of the Indian diaspora to India’s growth.

Q2: What is the purpose of India’s acquisition of Predator drones?

Ans: With the purchase of Predator drones, India hopes to improve its capabilities in maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, and over-the-horizon targeting.

Q3: What variant of the Reaper drone has India chosen for procurement?

Ans: The high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) qualities and diversified capabilities of the MQ-9B drone type have led India to choose it.


  • Pritipalit

    Priti Palit, an accomplished edtech writer, boasts a wealth of experience in preparing candidates for multiple government exams. With a passion for education and a keen eye for detail, she has contributed significantly to the field of online learning. Priti's expertise and dedication continue to empower aspiring individuals in their pursuit of success in government examinations.

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