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US clears sale of Predator Guardian drones to India

Prime News, International, Washington D C, June 27:-  The United States has cleared the sale of predator Guardian drones to India, as President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged on Monday to deepen their defence and security cooperation.

The US and India look forward to working together on advanced defence equipment and technology at a level commensurate with that of America’s closest allies and partners, said a joint statement issued after the India US Summit at the White House.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Modi pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the United States’ recognition of India as a Major Defence Partner.

“Reflecting the partnership, the US has offered for India’s consideration the sale of Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems, which would enhance India’s capabilities and promote shared security interests,” the joint statement said.

Resolving to expand their maritime security cooperation, they announced their intention to build on the implementation of their “White Shipping” data sharing arrangement, which enhances collaboration on the maritime domain awareness.

Trump welcomed Modi’s strong support for the US to join as an Observer in the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.

Noting the importance of the upcoming Malabar naval exercise (involving the US, Japan and India), the leaders determined to expand their engagements on shared maritime objectives and to explore new exercises.

The annual Malabar naval exercise, occurring in July in the Indian Ocean, will be the most complex to date, including participants from the US Navy, Indian Navy, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force.

According to General Atomics, the Predator Guardian UAV, a variant of the Predator B, can be used for wide-area, long- endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

It can stay in the air for up to 27 hours and can fly at maximum altitude of 50,000 feet. This maritime capability will be a force multiplier for the Indian Navy who has procured other advance technologies including Boeing P-8 aircraft. The Guardian has cutting edge technologies that do not exist in the current Indian Navy arsenal.

-(NGB, Inputs: Agencies)

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