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Biden Administration Approves 4 Billion Dollars Arms Package Sale To India

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The Biden Administration formally informed the US Congress today of its proposed sale of approximately $4 billion in arms, primarily featuring MQ-9B drones equipped with Hellfire missiles. In a press release on Thursday, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency, a branch of the US Department of Defense, highlighted the sale as a pivotal step in reinforcing the strategic relationship between the United States and India.

It added that New Delhi continues to be an “important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.”

“The US State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of India of MQ-9B Remotely Piloted Aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.99 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today,” the Defence Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement.

According to the statement, the Indian government has requested to buy 31 MQ-9B Sky Guardian aircraft; 161 Embedded Global Positioning and Inertial Navigation Systems (EGIs); 35 L3 Rio Grande Communications Intelligence Sensor Suites; 170 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; 16 M36E9 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); 310 GBU-39B/B Laser Small Diameter Bombs (LSDB); and eight GBU-39B/B LSDB Guided Test Vehicles (GTVs) with live fuzes.

The proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to strengthen the US-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,” the release stated.

It further added that the proposed sale will improve India’s capability to meet “current and future threats” by enabling unmanned surveillance and reconnaissance patrols in sea lanes of operation while adding that India has demonstrated a commitment to modernizing its military and will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces.

“The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region,” it added.

As per the release, the principal contractor will be General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Poway, CA. and any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.Implementation of this proposed sale will not require the assignment of any additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to India.

“There will be no adverse impact on US defence readiness as a result of this proposed sale,” the release said.

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