Last year the Indian Navy had operated a pre-production model of the drone which it had leased from the US Company General Atomics.
After a long wait the procurement process for the world’s top most drones from the US has started and soon it will go to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) for approval.
Responding to media queries on Tuesday, the Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Adm SN Ghormade said “The process for the UAVs has started and it is expected to go to the DAC soon.”
On Monday (November 15, 2021), the proposal to get 30 UAVs from the US was presented before the Defence Procurement Board (DPB) in the presence of all the stakeholders. “Before the proposal goes to the DAC (dates have yet to be decided) there are certain issues that were raised and these are expected to be cleared soon,” a source explained to Financial Express Online.
More about the process
After addressing all issues, the next step is for the USD 3 billion proposal to go to the DAC for its approval.
The DAC meeting headed by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be briefed about this deal and once it gets a nod there this proposal will be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
These 30 UAVs will come through the Government to Government Route and Foreign Military Sales (FMS), only after India sends a request formally to the government of the US to get these drones from the US based General Atomics.
According to sources, “The plan is to finalise the drones deal before the close of the fiscal year. Also, there are plans to shift the dates for the next round of 2+2 India US Ministerial Dialogue to early next year.” The dates for the next round of India-US Ministerial Level talks have not been announced officially yet. So far, the talks are scheduled to take place at the end of November or early December.
As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, each service is going to get ten drones each with different payloads and sensors which have been identified by a special team which has gone around the world to identify the best sensors and airframe.
Last year the Indian Navy had operated a pre-production model of the drone which it had leased from the US Company General Atomics. And in last year’s annual presser the Navy Chief had said that what will finally come once the order is placed will be more potent UAVs with underwater ASW capabilities. The Indian Navy is the lead service for the procurement of these drones.