Washington , Aug 5:
The US is looking to ramp up arms sales to India, including those of armed drones that can carry over 1,000 pounds of bombs and missiles, said a media report, noting the “new push” comes following the violent clashes in June between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh, the Foreign Policy magazine reported based on interviews with US officials and Congressional aides says.
President Donald Trump has officially amended rules that restrict the sale of military-grade drones to foreign partners like India, it said, adding that prominent among them being the recent announcement by the Trump administration changing its interpretation of the Missile Technology Control Regime.
This will allow the US to consider the sale of armed drones, which had previously been restricted because of their speeds and payloads, to allow them to be considered alongside surveillance drones, the news report said. US’ defence sales to India has jumped from near zero in 2008 to over USD 20 billion this year. Some of the recent and significant prior defence sales are to include the MH-60R Seahawk helicopters (USD 2.8 billion), the Apache helicopters (USD 796 million), and the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (USD 189 million).
India was the first non-treaty partner to be offered a Missile Technology Control Regime Category-1 Unmanned Aerial System the Sea Guardian UAS manufactured by General Atomics.