The Indian Navy has sent letters of request (LoR) to the Pentagon under government-to-government deals to acquire Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) for its carriers.
The LoRs contain price and availability for 22 Guardians and three EMALs catapults and are now under consideration by the US department of defense for clearance under the Foreign Military Sales, India Strategic reported quoting unnamed sources Saturday.
Once the process is through, the US Government will send its Letters of Acceptance (LOAs), the news portal reported.
“As far as General Atomics is concerned, we will be opening an office in the Indian capital to assist both the governments as required,” Vivek Lall, Chief Executive (Global Commercial Strategic Development) for General Atomics which makes these two systems was quoted as saying.
The Indian Navy had sent an official LoR in February this year towards purchase of 22 high-tech multi-mission Predator Guardian UAVs.
The US government had started an inter-agency process on the Indian request for unarmed Guardian drones for its maritime surveillance in the Indian Ocean before the LoR was sent.
The move comes after India was designated a major defence partner of the US in June.
The Predator B Guardian is a naval version for long-range surveillance over waters while the EMALS is being considered by the Indian Navy for its second indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, due by 2028. EMALS has been adopted by the US Navy as its next generation aircraft launch system, and again significantly, for its new generation aircraft carriers beginning with CVN 78 USS Gerald R Ford, due for delivery this year.