India To Discuss Predator Drone, Fighter Jets Sale During Modi's US Visit

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:00 PM, June 22, 2017
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India To Discuss Predator Drone, Fighter Jets Sale During Modi's US Visit

India will be trying to pursue a deal with the United States to buy naval variant of Predator drone for military surveillance, during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first meeting with US President Donald Trump next week.

India's request for 22 Predator Guardian drones was made three times with Pentagon since last year in June under the previous US administration.

"We are trying to move it to the top of the agenda as a deliverable, this is something that can happen before all the other items," said one official tracking the progress of the drone discussions in the run-up to the visit, told Economic Times.

India and the United States will also discuss the sale of US fighter jets during Modi's trip, in what could be the biggest deal since they began deepening defence ties more than a decade ago.

However, the report says the US State Department has been concerned about the potential destabilising impact of introducing high-tech drones into South Asia, where tensions are simmering between India and Pakistan, particularly over Kashmir, which is divided between them.

While the Guardian drones that India is pushing for are unarmed, the Indian military had originally asked for missile-firing Predator Avenger aircraft, a request turned down by the Obama administration.

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