India-China standoff: American weapons for the Indian Navy on the anvil?

As Indian and Chinese troops remain face-to-face in Ladakh, India is buying more sophisticated American weapons, this time for the Navy.

The Defence Acquisition Council or DAC, headed by the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and including the three chiefs and the chief of defence staff is expected to clear a decision to acquire ten Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs during the forthcoming meeting on August 11.

These UAVs are likely to be the American Sea Guardian MQ-9 drone, far deadlier than any similar weapon system India currently possesses. The Sea Guardian can be in the air for about 14 hours with its complement of air-to-ground missiles and laser-guided bombs amounting to a little less than 2,000 kg. It has a range of nearly 2,000 km or about 1,000 nautical miles.

Very few countries outside the USA and its NATO allies have the Sea Guardian. Being a drone, it doesn’t have a pilot, but is guided from the ground.

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