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Air Force entering a transforming era: IAF Chief

Oct 14, 2020 16:00 IST

As China remains hostile, India is going in for boosting its combat drones capabilities. The Army, Navy and Air Force have collectively come to the conclusion that India should opt for a weaponised drone rather than reconnaissance and surveillance drones. India had first expressed its interest in the armed drones in 2015, and the procurement had been in the works since then. The Services now want the MQ-9B Sea Guardian, manufactured by General Atomics, USA, which has 40-hour endurance with a maximum altitude of 40,000 feet and payload or weapon carrying capacity of over 2.5 tons including air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs. MoD officials, on conditions of anonymity said, “We are in negotiations with the Trump administration, which is willing to provide India with the latest armed drone technology. In this, it is the prohibitive cost of the system that is a hurdle, not the Trump administration.”