With both India and United States determined to step up vigilante in the crucial Indian Ocean Region against rising China presence, the Trump administration official has reiterated that they are keen to completing the deal for transferring unarmed Sea Guardian drones to India. The deal would sure help India step up its maritime surveillance capabilities in the region.
The major decision to sell unarmed Sea Guardian drones was announced during the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump on June 26.
The US “looks forward to completing the deal for transferring Sea Guardian unmanned drones,” the official said.
The addition of 22 state-of-the-art unarmed drones to India would add to its Navy’s surveillance capabilities in the strategic Indian Ocean region.
As part of India being designated as major defence partner, the Trump administration is taking additional steps to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and accelerate the process of sale of high-tech defence equipment to India.
A special focus is on strengthening Indian maritime capabilities.
The defence cooperation is only going to increase, the senior administration official said, adding that this is based on fundamental understanding that interests of the two countries are now aligned.
This was the first major defence deal announced after India was designated as a major defence partner.
Vivek Lall, chief executive of US and international strategic development at General Atomics, said sale of Sea Guardian drones is a significant step in cementing the US- India bilateral defence relationship.
To be sold at an estimated cost of USD 2 billion, this would help create some 2,000 jobs in the US, he said.