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US-India Defence Deals in Pipeline

India's defence purchases from the United States have reached USD 17 Billion since 2007 from surveillance planes to Apache and Chinook helicopters, as proof of India's willingness to tighten strategic ties and indication of pivoting away from traditional supplier Russia. These soon-to-be-inked deals will take the total value of Indian defence contracts bagged by the US just since 2007 to well past the USD 20 Billion mark. US has also offered India the armed version of Guardian drones that were originally authorized for sale as unarmed for surveillance purposes, the first such approval for a country outside the NATO alliance. India plans to buy 30 of these unmanned aircraft for surveillance of the Indian Ocean, at a cost estimated to be about USD 2.5 Billion, from General Atomics. Some of the major defence deals in advanced stages of procurement from US are:-

  • 24 MH-60R multirole helicopters deal worth around USD 2.4 Billion
  • Armed drones
  • Six more P-8I surveillance aircraft worth USD1.8 Billion
  • Two Raytheon ISTAR aircraft among others
  • Six Apache helicopters
  • National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System-II for the missile shield over Delhi worth USD 1.8 Billion
  • 30 Sea Guardian armed drones worth over USD 2.5 Billion
  • 13 big MK-45 naval gun systems for warships worth USD 1.02 Billion

India and the US have also identified seven defence projects for co-development and production under the bilateral Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). These include air-launched small aerial systems (drone swarms), light-weight small arms technology, ISTAR (intelligence, surveillance, targeting and reconnaissance) systems and anti-drone technology called “counter-UAS rocket, artillery and mortar systems”.

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