Ahead of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to Washington, Trump administration has approved the sale of 22 Guardian drones to India signalling a strong desire to continue and upgrade defence partnership between the 2 countries. India requested to buy 22 Guardian MQ-9B unmanned aircraft for surveillance in 2016. The deal will be worth around $2 billion.
The upcoming visit of Indian president is aimed to reaffirm the US support to India which was started by Barack Obama. Defence and security relationship is very important to both the countries and this move will additionally fortify India-America ties.
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India hopes to buy these drones for surveillance of the Indian Ocean where china’s navy has been increasing it’s activities by sending submarines and warships over the past couple of years.
India and US have been working together for some time now to counter the growing influence of China in the world. The two countries are also in talks of transferring the F-16 production line to India from US to form the backbone of Indian Air Force. The two countries have been involved in joint military drills and the US has accorded India a status of important defence partner.
Since 2008, India has signed more than $15 billion of contracts with the US, including the sale of C-130J and C-17 transport aircraft, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft, Harpoon missiles and Apache and Chinook helicopters.
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India is on a shopping spree under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to upgrade its military infrastructure and wants to reduce dependence on the military hardware from Russia which are being plagued from non availability of spare parts.
Modi will visit Washington on June 25-26 and is likely to discuss various issues related to trade, counter terrorism and defence initiatives with the US president Donald Trump. The approval is an indication that Trump’s administration wants to take the friendly ties forward with India.