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Centre rejects 'speculative reports' on drone deal with US; says price, terms of purchase yet to be finalised

The Defence Ministry on June 15 approved the deal for acquiring the 'Predator (MQ-9 Reaper) drones from the USA.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal New Delhi Updated on: June 26, 2023 6:23 IST
Centre rejects speculative reports on drone deal with US
Image Source : PTI Centre rejects speculative reports on drone deal with US

India US drone deal: Refuting the “speculative reports” with regard to the price and other terms of purchase of the 31 MQ-9B High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from the US, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Sunday said that the estimated cost provided by the US Government is USD 3.072 billion, however, the price and terms of the purchase are “yet to be finalised”.

 
The Ministry said that the price of these drones will be decided upon only after a comparison of the "best price" offered to other countries. The Defense Ministry will compare the acquisition cost with the best price offered by General Atomics (GA) to other countries. The procurement is in progress and would be completed as per the laid down procedure.

‘Price and other terms of purchase yet to be finalised’

Reacting to some speculative reports that had emerged in sections of social media referring to the price and other terms of purchase, MoD in a statement said, "These are uncalled for, have ulterior motives and are aimed at derailing the due acquisition process."
"The price and other terms of the purchase are yet to be finalised and subject to negotiations. In this regard, all are requested not to spread fake news or misinformation, which can have a serious impact on the morale of the Armed Forces and adversely impact the acquisition process," it added

Letter of Request would be sent to US govt

A Letter of Request (LOR) would be sent to the US Government where Tri-services requirements, details of equipment and terms of the procurement would be included. Based on the LOR, the US Government and MoD will finalise the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA, where details of equipment and terms of the procurement would be negotiated and finalised in accordance with the FMS program and the price and terms offered by the US Government and GA to other countries.

The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the acquisition of 31 MQ-9B long endurance drones was accorded to the procurement by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), on June 15. These include 16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardians. “The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), on June 15, 2023, accorded the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for acquisition of 31 MQ-9B (16 Sky Guardian and 15 Sea Guardian) High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for Tri-Services from the USA through Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route. The AoN included the number of UAVs to be procured along with associated equipment,” the ministry said.

The Defence Ministry on June 15 approved the deal for acquiring the 'Predator (MQ-9 Reaper) drones from America. According to reports, the final decision on this would be taken by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Also Read: Ahead of PM Modi's US visit, Defence Ministry approves 'Predator drone' deal with America

Also Read: Predator drones to be deployed at three major hubs across India

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