The United States President Joe Biden-led administration on Thursday notified the US Congress of its plans to sell nearly four billion dollars worth of arms including mainly of the MQ 9B drones armed with the hellfire missiles.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, an organization under the US Department of Defense, stated in a press release on Thursday that the transaction contributes to enhancing the strategic partnership between the US and India.
The statement further mentioned that New Delhi remains an "important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region."
"The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today," the Defence Security Cooperation Agency statement mentioned.
As per the report, the Indian government has made a request to purchase 31 MQ-9B Sky Guardian aircraft, 161 Embedded Global Positioning and Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs), 35 L3 Rio Grande Communications Intelligence Sensor Suites, 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 16 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM), 310 GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB), and eight GBU-39B/B LSDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs) with live fuzes.
The planned transaction aims to bolster the foreign policy and national security goals of the United States by enhancing the strategic partnership with India and enhancing the security of a key defense ally. This ally plays a crucial role in maintaining political stability, peace, and economic development in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region, as mentioned in the statement.
The statement also mentioned that the planned sale will enhance India's ability to address present and future challenges by facilitating unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance patrols in sea lanes of operation. Additionally, it noted that India has shown a dedication to modernizing its military and will easily incorporate these items and services into its armed forces.
"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," it added.
According to the announcement, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of Poway, CA will serve as the main contractor, and any compensation arrangements will be determined through discussions between the buyer and the contractor.
The execution of this suggested transaction will not necessitate the deployment of extra U.S. Government or contractor agents to India.
"There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale," the release further stated.