India won’t buy predator drones from the United States; $3BN deal put on hold amid ‘Make-in-India’ push.
India has put its plan to acquire 30 Predator armed drones from the US on the back burner, on account of its focus on indigenous development and manufacturing, as well as the prohibitive cost involved. Hindustan Times has also learned that it has been informed to Pentagon as well. Spearheaded by the Indian Navy, India was planning to acquire 30 Predator armed drones for use across services (10 each for the Navy, air force, and army) at the cost of at least $3 billion from US-based General Atomics. The Indian Navy already has taken two surveillance Predators on lease from the US company and uses them for conducting reconnaissance of India’s maritime and land borders with China and Pakistan. However, the decision to put the acquisition on hold was taken as India already has some capability in armed drones; it is currently upgrading the Israeli Heron drones.