The U.S. State Department has given the green light to a potential $3.99 billion sale of MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft to the Indian government, as announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on Thursday.
India’s government has requested the purchase of 31 MQ-9B drones along with associated equipment, including spare parts, training, and logistical support.
The primary contractor for this program will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, according to the DSCA.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defense partner, which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region,” stated the DSCA’s announcement.
The MQ-9 series, known as the Reaper in the U.S. military, represents the first hunter-killer unmanned aerial vehicle designed for extended-duration, high-altitude surveillance. With dimensions of 36 feet in length and a wingspan of 65 feet, it also has the capacity to carry ordnance payloads.