WFY Today

The US has approved the best $4 billion sale of new armed drones to India

The MQ-9B predator drone deal was announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States in June 2023.

A Senate committee put it on hold in December to allow for an investigation into an alleged Indian assassination plot on US soil.

The agreement will now be confirmed following approval by the US Congress.

The deal includes the sale of 31 armed MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones, 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, 310 laser small-diameter bombs, communications and surveillance equipment, and a precision glide bomb, the Pentagon announced. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems will be the primary contractor for the project.

Senator Ben Cardin released his “hold” on the deal after the US government agreed to fully investigate the assassination plot, as reported by Reuters.

“The [Biden] administration has demanded that there be an investigation and accountability in regards to the plot here in the United States and that there be accountability within India against these types of activities,” Mr. Cardin told reporters at the White House.

Last year, the US accused Delhi of attempting to assassinate an American citizen who supports Khalistan, an independent Sikh state carved out of India.

A government spokesperson stated that the US has “conveyed our expectations that anyone deemed responsible should be held accountable.”

The Indian foreign ministry denied having anything to do with the murder plot. It also stated that a high-level inquiry committee had been established “to investigate the allegation and address the US government’s security concerns.”

The Pentagon stated Thursday that the proposed drone deal with India “will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship.”

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