Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden held a bilateral meeting at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in Delhi, where leaders discussed a wide range of issues including economic and people-to-people concerns. "Friendship between India and the US will continue to play a great role in furthering global good," said PM Modi after meeting President Biden.
"The leaders called on their governments to continue the work of transforming the India-U.S. Strategic Partnership across all dimensions of our multifaceted global agenda, based on trust and mutual understanding. The leaders re-emphasized that the shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens are critical to the success our countries enjoy and that these values strengthen our relationship," read the joint statement released by the White House.
Both leaders expressed confidence that the outcomes of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in New Delhi will advance the shared goals of accelerating sustainable development, bolstering multilateral cooperation, and building global consensus around inclusive economic policies to address our greatest common challenges, including fundamentally reshaping and scaling up multilateral development banks.
Prime Minister Modi and President Biden reaffirmed the importance of the Quad in supporting a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific. Prime Minister Modi looked forward to welcoming President Biden to the next Quad Leaders’ Summit to be hosted by India in 2024. India welcomed the U.S. decision to co-lead the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative Pillar on Trade Connectivity and Maritime Transport, further to the US decision to join IPOI in June 2023, according to the statement.
During PM Modi’s US visit this year, the two leaders welcomed India’s plans to procure General Atomics MQ-9B High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aerial vehicles (UAV), according to the statement issued after the meeting of the US President and the Indian Prime Minister, setting the stage for the acquisition of 31 of armed UAVs, among which 15 SeaGuardians will be for the Indian Navy and 16 SkyGuardians (eight each) will be for the Indian Army and Air Force.
With focus back on the defence acquisition, let’s look at all you need to know about the deadly MQ-9 Reaper drones:
The Reaper drone is deployed mainly as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets, according to the US Air Force.
Decoding the MQ-9 Reaper, the ‘M’ is the DoD designation for multi-role, the ‘Q’ stands for remotely piloted aircraft system, and the ‘9’ suggests that it is the ninth in the series.
The US air force had originally proposed the MQ-9 Reaper system in response to the Department of Defence directive to back the overseas contingency operations.
The drone provides capability to launch strike and reconnaissance against time-sensitive targets. The MQ-9 can perform numerous missions including surveillance, combat search and rescue, intelligence, precision strike and terminal air guidance.
The baseline system of the drone has the Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS-B) which harbours an infrared sensor, shortwave infrared camera, laser designator, visual sensors for aiming, and laser illuminator.
The high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) drones are capable of remaining airborne for over 35 hours and can carry four Hellfire missiles and around 450 kg of bombs.
The drone can carry up to eight laser-guided missiles, Air-to-Ground Missile-114 Hellfire which gives low-collateral damage, anti-armour, and anti-personnel engagement capabilities. The drone can be disassembled and fit into a single container for deployment.
G20 in India
India will host G20 Summit in its national capital on September 9 and 10 in which top leaders of the world will participate.
Several world leaders will arrive in New Delhi for the occasion which will be hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. US President Joe Biden will arrive in India today.
The Group of Twenty (G20) comprises 19 countries - Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, US, UK and the European Union.
India has also invited Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE as guest countries for the mega event.
The security has been heightened in the national capital ahead of the Summit.
(With inputs from agency)