The United States and India are working to “tailor” the Predator B armed drone for export to New Delhi for all three services, a US-based defense publication reported on Wednesday.
"The modifications for the India-specific drones would revolve around weapon systems, the avionics suite, the communications suite—they all need to be tailored to India’s needs, so it works with their other equipment," Ben Schwartz of the Chamber of Commerce’s US-India Business Council, was quoted as saying by Breaking Defense.
Indian and US officials have been talking about the sale of drones to India for several years, though an order is yet to be announced. While earlier announcements centred around sales of drones for surveillance, since 2018, the US has indicated its willingness to sell India armed UAVs.
The MQ-9 Reaper (sometimes called Predator B) is a UAV capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations. It is the first hunter-killer drone designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. Predator B has an endurance of over 27 hours, a speed of 240 knots true airspeed, can operate at an altitude of up to 50,000 feet, and has a 3,850 pound (1,746 kg) payload capacity that includes 3,000 pounds (1,361 kg) of external stores.