Savronik Banner

India Close to Signing the Deal for MQ-9 UCAVs

India Close to Signing the Deal for MQ-9 UCAVs

R Hari Kumar stated that the deal is “months away” from being signed with the U.S. :

“The Defence Acquisition Council has cleared the letter of request, and the letter of request has gone to the U.S. government. They have given us a draft letter of availability. Now, the final one will come. It has to be placed before the (U.S.) Congressional committee thereafter, it will come. We hope that it will be taken forward and we hope to sign the contract maybe in a few months ahead.”

Indian Defence News reported that the Navy will use 15 of the ordered UCAVs, and the remaining 16 will be equally split between the Air Force and Army. The total cost of the deal is expected to be $4 billion.

The Indian Navy will use MQ-9’s recent derivative, MQ-9B SeaGuardian, which is optimised for naval operations with provisions for specialised payloads. These payloads primarily include sonobuoys and long-range search radar.

The long endurance of UCAVs has driven some countries to utilise the platforms with high payload capacity for maritime patrol missions. The endurance of these platforms, mostly exceeding 24 hours, is an opportunity, particularly for maritime surveillance.

In addition to the U.S., Turkiye is using TUSAŞ AKSUNGUR UCAV as an ISR platform to survey its seas. Work is ongoing to integrate sonobuoys and magnetic anomaly detectors to increase detection capabilities against submarines.