India is on the verge of receiving 30 Predator drones from the United States, which has been in the works for some years. On Monday, a high-level conference would be convened at the Defence Ministry to discuss the acquisition, which is expected to cost over Rs 21,000 crore.

The Indian Navy already has two unarmed Sea Guardian drones that it leased from the United States last year.

According to top Defence Ministry sources, the meeting, which will be attended by senior officials, would be chaired by the Defence Secretary.

If the acquisition is approved at this meeting, it will be referred to the Defense Acquisition Council, which is chaired by the Minister of Defense. The contract will then be referred to the Cabinet Committee on Security for final approval before being signed.

Long-range surveillance and pinpoint strikes will be possible with the drones, which will be equipped with modern electronics and armament packages. The MQ-9B SeaGuardian/SkyGuardian variants are on India’s drone want list. According to reports, the Indian Army, Navy, and Air Force will each receive ten drones with bespoke specs.

The Indian Navy has already begun utilizing two unarmed Sea Guardian drones leased from the United States for surveillance in the Indian Ocean region. The Indian Navy is leading the charge in acquiring these drones.

The Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 and the Defence Procurement Manual 2009 both include the option of leasing weapon equipment. This helps India save money because the seller is also responsible for upkeep.

The Indian military forces have been putting their trust in American surveillance equipment for the past few years. The Indian Navy currently operates nine P-8I long-range surveillance planes and will get another nine in the next years.

According to India Today, the Narendra Modi government will decide on the procurement of 30 Predator drones from the United States during a high-level meeting on Monday (15 November).

The purchase of 30 Predator drones, which has been in the works for years, will cost India roughly Rs 21,000 crore if authorized.

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