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Drone, jet engine deals will boost India-US defence ties: Experts

On the armed drones, defence expert Qamar Agha pointed out that India is one of the select countries which will have this UAV

US released a de-classified video showing a Russian military jet intercept a US drone downed over the Black Sea two days ago

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Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Defence deals being signed between Indian and the US during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit will prove beneficial for India, defence experts said on Thursday.
Prime Minister Modi is on a state visit to the US from June 21 to 24 at the invitation of President Joe Biden.
In a landmark announcement, GE Aerospace on Thursday said it has inked a pact with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to jointly produce fighter jet engines for Indian Air Force's Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk-II -- Tejas.
India is also likely to sign a deal to buy MQ-9B Predator armed drones from US manufacturer General Atomics.
The experts said the deals will boost India-US defence ties.
Defence expert Brigadier (retired) Rahul Bhonsle said the drones will prove beneficial for India's northern border as well as along the maritime boundary.
"This particular drone has capability not just to seek targets but to immediately attack them.... It can carry out a strike itself. It leaves very little opportunity for the target to escape," Bhonsle told PTI.
"It will be important both on the northern border as well as the maritime border."

On the MoU between GE Aerospace and HAL, he said, "This deal would be a huge success for both the companies. The IAF is now assured of an engine which is one of the most important components of a fighter aircraft."

The agreement includes the potential joint production of GE Aerospace's F414 engines in India. In a statement, the US firm said it continues to work with the US government to receive the necessary export authorization for this.
On the armed drones, defence expert Qamar Agha pointed out that India is one of the select countries which will have this UAV.
"Usually the US does not sell these drones to anyone other than its allies. This is a sophisticated weapon and has a good range. Thus this deal is very important for us, especially for the Navy," Agha told PTI.
The General Atomics MQ-9 "Reaper" can carry 500 per cent more payload and has nine times the horsepower in comparison to the earlier MQ-1 Predator. Moreover, MQ-9 UAV provides long endurance, persistent surveillance, and strike capability for the warfighter.
The drone deal is expected to further bolster India's national security and surveillance capabilities, not only in the Indian Ocean but also along the frontier with China. The MQ-9B has two variants - SkyGuardian and its sibling SeaGuardian.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 22 2023 | 8:41 PM IST

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